We examine factors affecting the auditor’s willingness to report their own or their peers’ self-discovered errors in working papers subsequent to detailed working paper review. Prior research has shown that errors in working papers are detected in the review process; however, such detection rates only rarely exceed 50% of the seeded errors. Hence, measures that encourage auditors to be alert to their own (or their peers’) potential errors any time they revisit the audit working papers may be valuable in detecting such residual errors and potentially correcting them before damage occurs to the audit firm or its client. We hypothesize that three factors affect the auditor’s willingness to report post detailed review discovered errors: the local office error-management climate (open versus blame), the type of error (mechanical versus conceptual) and who committed the error (the individual who committed the error (self) or a peer). Local office error-management climate is said to be open and supportive where errors and mistakes are accepted as part of everyday life as long as they are learned from and not repeated. In alternative, a blame error-management climate focuses on a “get it right the first time” culture where mistakes are not tolerated and blame gets attached to those admitting to or found committing such errors. We find that error-management climate has a significant overall effect on auditor willingness to report errors, as does who committed the error originally. We find both predicted and unpredicted significant interactions among the three factors that qualify these observed significant main effects. We discuss implications for audit practice and further research.

adjustments, audit quality, materiality, review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Gold-Nöteberg, A.H, Gronewold, U, & Salterio, S. (2010). The Impact of Error-Management Climate, Error Type and Error Originator on Auditors’ Reporting Errors Discovered on Audit Work Papers. ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/20551