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The rise of technology-enabled data analytic tools creates opportunities for firms to improve audit quality related to complex estimates. To combat auditors’ resistance to using technology-enabled tools, firms may promote the sophistication of such tools to their audit staff. However, there is a paucity of research that has examined how auditors’ perceived sophistication of an analytic tool impacts judgments about audit evidence. We conduct an experiment and find that, holding all other information constant, the preferences of an audit supervisor interact with the perceived sophistication of an analytic tool to jointly impact auditors’ anticipated evaluation from a supervisor and, in turn, their evidence assessment decisions when auditing a complex estimate. As such, the promotion of tool sophistication by audit firms can significantly affect the audit of complex estimates to a greater degree than what would be expected. Implications for audit theory and practice are discussed.




American Accounting Association

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Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting