Auditor Task Selection Under Time Pressure

Bart Dierynck, Christian Peters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperOther research output

Abstract

We investigate in which type of tasks auditors reduce effort when they are under time pressure. Drawing on psychology theory, we hypothesize and find that auditors tend to prioritize easier tasks compared to more complex tasks in the audit as easier tasks demand less cognitive resources from the auditor and auditors aim to maintain their cognitive resources. We propose psychological ownership as a mechanism that can alleviate this proclivity to prioritize easier tasks. However, we do not find any evidence for this. In a supplemental experiment, we examine whether time pressure curbs feelings of psychological ownership. We show that time pressure significantly reduces feelings of psychological ownership and hence is an important factor to consider when working on the facilitation of psychological ownership in the audit environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Time pressure
Psychological ownership
Auditors
Resources
Audit
Facilitation
Psychology
Experiment
Factors

Keywords

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

Cite this

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Auditor Task Selection Under Time Pressure. / Dierynck, Bart; Peters, Christian.

2019.

Research output: Working paperOther research output

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AU - Peters, Christian

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AB - We investigate in which type of tasks auditors reduce effort when they are under time pressure. Drawing on psychology theory, we hypothesize and find that auditors tend to prioritize easier tasks compared to more complex tasks in the audit as easier tasks demand less cognitive resources from the auditor and auditors aim to maintain their cognitive resources. We propose psychological ownership as a mechanism that can alleviate this proclivity to prioritize easier tasks. However, we do not find any evidence for this. In a supplemental experiment, we examine whether time pressure curbs feelings of psychological ownership. We show that time pressure significantly reduces feelings of psychological ownership and hence is an important factor to consider when working on the facilitation of psychological ownership in the audit environment.

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