An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Audit and Auditor Characteristics on Audit Performance


Accounting Organizations and Society

octobre 2014, vol. 39, n°7, pp.495-510

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Auditor effort, Auditor experience, Task complexity, Auditor performance, Tax audits

We use a unique and confidential database of 15,392 tax audits performed by the Croatian Tax Administration during the 2002-2006 period to examine the impact of task complexity, auditor experience, and auditor effort on audit performance. We provide external validation to prior experimental and analytical research showing that task complexity decreases while auditor experience and effort increase audit performance. We also extend this literature by examining the roles of task complexity and experience in moderating the impact of the effort on audit performance. We find that task complexity mitigates, while experience enhances the positive relationship between auditor effort and performance. However, we also find that auditor experience reinforces the positive effect of auditor effort on performance to a greater degree when complexity is high. Taken together, our findings provide new evidence on how audit and auditor characteristics impact audit performance, and new insight into how task complexity and auditor experience separately and jointly moderate the impact of auditor effort on performance