The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) announced five grants to fund independent academic research on projects of interest to the auditing profession. Now in its ninth year, the CAQ has funded more than $600,000 in academic research through 35 awards under the program.

“The CAQ and the public company auditing profession enthusiastically support independent research to improve audit quality and better serve investors and our capital markets,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. “We’re pleased to fund important academic research to help inform audit practice for the ninth year in a row.”

The CAQ’s Research Advisory Board (RAB), comprised of members from academia and the auditing profession, selected the following projects to receive funding:

  • Improving Auditors’ Consideration of Evidence Contradicting Management’s Complex Estimate by Assumptions by Ashley Austin (University of Richmond), Jacqueline Hammersley (University of Georgia), and Michael Ricci (University of Georgia)
  • Auditing Non-GAAP Measures: Signaling More than Intended by Jessen Hobson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Spencer Anderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Ryan Sommerfeldt (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Auditor Use of Root Cause Analysis and Its Effect on Professional Skepticism and Judgment in an Integrated Audit by Marcus Doxey (University of Alabama), Todd DeZoort (University of Alabama), and Troy Pollard (University of Alabama)
  • Deception in the Audit Environment: The Hidden Benefit of Email Communication? by Mary Parlee Durkin (University of San Diego), Jane Kennedy Jollineau (University of San Diego) and Sarah Lyon (University of San Diego)
  • A “Perfect Storm” for Professional Skepticism among Senior Auditors: Depletion, Reversion to Staff Processing Habits, and Complex Tasks by Sarah Bonner (University of Southern California), Kathryn Kadous (Emory University), and Tracie Majors (University of Southern California)

The CAQ research grant program focuses on critical policy issues, including audits of internal control over financial reporting, auditing of accounting estimates and fair value, audit committee effectiveness, cybersecurity, data analytics, professional skepticism, global group audits, materiality, non-GAAP measures, fraudulent financial reporting, and the value of the audit.


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To date, nine of the academic research projects supported through the CAQ have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Access to these articles is available through the CAQ website, including three additional papers that were awarded by the RAB prior to the creation of the CAQ.

A list of previous grant recipients is available on the CAQ’s website.