SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • auditing;
  • recency bias;
  • debiasing;
  • accountability

Abstract

This paper examines the use of self-review to debias recency. Recency is found in the ‘going concern’ judgments of staff auditors, but is successfully eliminated by the auditor's use of a simple self-review technique that would be extremely easy to implement in audit practice. Auditors who self-review are also less inclined to make audit report choices that are inconsistent with their going concern judgments. These results are important because the judgments of staff auditors often determine the type and extent of documentation in audit workpapers and serve as preliminary inputs for senior auditors' judgments and choices. If staff auditors' judgments are affected by recency, the impact of this bias may be impounded in the ultimate judgments and choices of senior auditors. Since biased judgments can expose auditors to significant costs involving extended audit procedures, legal liability and diminished reputation, simple debiasing techniques that reduce this exposure are valuable. The paper also explores some future research needs and other important issues concerning judgment debiasing in applied professional settings. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.