Does Academic Research Provide Sufficient Evidence Concerning Possible Changes to the Audit Reporting Model?

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Coram, Paul
Espahbodi, Reza
Warne, Rick C.
Bedard, Jean
Mock, Theodore J.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
October 2014
Alternative Title
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) have each proposed a standard that could significantly change the independent auditor's report. Both proposed standards would require the auditor to make additional disclosures intended to close possible information and communications gaps and, in general, improve the relevancy of the auditor's report. Clearly, changes to the auditor's report could have significant consequences to financial market participants and other stakeholders. We augment prior academic research related to the PCAOB and IAASB proposed standards with the main intent of providing standard setters with an updated synthesis of relevant research. We also provide an assessment of whether the proposed changes are likely to close the communication and information gaps. While significant research exists in many areas, in addition we identify areas where there seems to be a lack of sufficient research evidence. These results should interest standard setters as they consider fundamental changes to the auditor's report and also as they consider ways of stimulating future relevant academic research. Additionally, our summaries that indicate limited research or inconsistent results should help academics identify important opportunities for future research.