Disclosure Checklists and Auditors' Judgments of Aggressive Accounting

Marcel Rinsum, Victor Maas, D Stolker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates if auditors who feel accountable to management (as opposed to the audit committee) are more susceptible to pro-client bias after using a disclosure checklist. We theorize that the use of a disclosure checklist, even though it is uninformative about the aggressiveness of the accounting methods used, can influence auditors’ judgments of the acceptability of aggressive reporting by inducing a less critical state of mind. We propose that this less critical state of mind is reflected in higher levels of pro-client bias, particularly when management is the appointing party. Our experimental data for two cases, obtained from experienced auditors working at a Big Four audit firm, support this prediction. Our findings imply that threats to auditor independence are more subtle than has often been assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalThe European Accounting Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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