Auditor Task Prioritization: The Effects of Time Pressure and Psychological Ownership

Bart Dierynck, Christian P. H. Peters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We investigate what type of tasks auditors prioritize. Relying on Conservation of Resources Theory and an experiment, we predict and find that auditors tend to prioritize easy tasks over difficult tasks. We further investigate the effects of time pressure and psychological ownership on easy task prioritization. First, we find that auditors are more likely to prioritize easy tasks under high time pressure compared to under low time pressure. Second, we find that psychological ownership alleviates easy task prioritization in low time pressure conditions, but not in high time pressure conditions. The latter result shows that interventions focused on improving job resources in audit firms may not materialize when job demands are high, such as under high time pressure.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSSRN
Number of pages41
Publication statusIn preparation - 2019

Keywords

  • Auditing
  • Task Ordering
  • Psychological Ownership
  • Task Complexity
  • Audit Operations

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