Presentation on theme: "Auditing Research on Current Issues: The Impact of SOX Auditing Section Doctoral Consortium New Orleans, Louisiana January 13, 2005 William R. Kinney,"— Presentation transcript:
Auditing Research on Current Issues: The Impact of SOX Auditing Section Doctoral Consortium New Orleans, Louisiana January 13, 2005 William R. Kinney, Jr. University of Texas at Austin
Outline Background and assumptions A model for corporate governance and auditing research Research implications of SOX Specific research questions and barriers Conclusion and implications
1. Background and assumptions Research should reflect real world problems and complexity Big change in real world - SOX Need to identify new real world problems and –new theories, –new methods, and –new data to address them You are best qualified for the task
Information is valuable if the decision maker believes: Measurement criteria are relevant Measurement criteria are carefully applied Measurement display is trustworthy
... but: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 challenges –Relevance of GAAP –Reliability of auditing standards –Trustworthiness of auditors, independent directors, standards setters, financial intermediaries, and contracts that bind them... this is a big new potato -- new states and new actions need new theories to explain/understand
Sarbanes-Oxley Act Emphasizes compliance with rules over value Management certification of fair presentation Mandates some GAAP changes Mandates internal control assertions/attestation Funding changes for IB/FA, FASB, Auditing standards setting
Sarbanes-Oxley Act also Mandates: –Independent (non-employee) audit committee –IAC hires and fires auditor (IAC is the client) –Non-audit service bans –police beat inspections of audit engagements PCAOB as independent (and no cost/benefit test) : –Auditing standards setter (not just GAAS) –Independence standards setter –Registered audit firms inspector and enforcer
Financial Reporting Regulators in the U.S. SEC (Supreme) FASB GAAP PCAOB Audit Stds Indep Stds. Inspect/ Enforce COSO (Int Ctrl) Measurement criteria Application of criteria
2. Accounting and Corporate Governance 1978-2002 General public Competitors Analysts/ intermediaries Stockholders Management Auditor Independent Directors FASB/ AICPA SEC Congress Customers Workers Suppliers Lenders FS
Management responsible for financial statements and has discretion to choose transactions in which to engage choose methods to account for transactions and events choose how carefully to apply chosen methods (precision and bias of estimates and judgments) choose to misapply methods (non-GAAP) …is motivated to manage reported earnings and has market power over all gatekeepers!
Accounting and Corporate Governance Show me the money – pre-SOX! General public Competitors Analysts/ intermediaries Stockholders Management Auditor Independent Directors FASB/ AICPA SEC Congress Customers Workers Suppliers Lenders FS $ $$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Accounting and Corporate Governance Show me the money – post-SOX! General public Competitors Analysts/ intermediaries Stockholders Management Auditor Independent Directors FASB/ AICPA/ SEC Congress Customers Workers Suppliers Lenders FS $ $$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ x x x x PCAOB
Accounting scandals, ethics, and regulations 1980s precursors 1990s developments 1999-2002 regs. Reduced stock commissions Loose GAAP for stock-based comp. expense Information technology (MSNBC/ CNN) Great stock market / 1993 OBRA sal. cap GAAS allows waiving M < M* Huge stock-based compensation Pressure to meet or beat EPS numbers Manage/manipulate by pennies per share Auditors allow M < M* SAS No. 89, 1999 SAB No. 99, 2000 Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
3. Measurement Criteria Relevance GAAP – –is it adequate for governance? –will mgts certification of fairness help? COSO – does it adequately/usefully measure internal control process effectiveness? Are new measurement criteria dead? Can registered auditors direct report under PCAOB standards?
PCAOB Mission Statement Oversee the auditors of public companies in order to (a) protect the interests of investors and (b) further the public interest in the preparation of informative, fair, and independent audit reports. (emphasis added) Question: does (b) allow PCAOB to require auditors to report on something other than managements assertions with respect to GAAP and COSO?
Care in measurement: audit adequacy Audits of –process vs. output (IC vs. financial statements) –estimates and risk assessments vs. hard numbers –relationships vs. physical assets –fairness vs. GAAP Will the audit committee as the client and cant lie to your auditor help? Auditing Standards vs. GAAS (law vs. acceptance)? The cost and value of PCAOB vs. self-regulation? Effect of police beat audit inspections?
Trustworthiness of: Use audit firm for – transactions design? systems design? internal audit outsourcing? tax advice? accounting advice??? Conflicts of interest for: CEO, CFO, IA, IB/FA, corp. counsel, lenders, government officials Audit Committee incentives for diligence? (independent vs. invested) An auditor who is paid by clients? Are NAS restrictions the best way to ensure auditor independence?
4. Research in Analytics Need models for: –value of process vs. state reliability –role of subjective fair presentation –reporting and auditing second moments –economics of auditing as a regulated activity –auditing in context of corporate governance –rules-based vs. risk-based auditing standards Barrier: extra parties and institutions hard to model
Research in Experiments Questions: –Does SAB No. 99 work (Nelson et al. 2003)? –Will IAASB ED on accounting estimates work? –Does SAS No. 99 work? –Does ERM (COSO II) improve COSO? Barrier: How to convince regulated audit firms that your experiments are valuable to them – whats in it for them now?
Research in Archival Studies What are the effects of –fee disclosures on profits and performance? –PCAOB as standards setter and regulator (similar to evaluating the FASB and SEC)? –SOX on innovation in auditing and standardized business measurement? –SOX provisions on attracting new CPAs? Barrier - How to work with PCAOB and regulated audit firms as independent researchers – why should they help you?
5. Summary and Conclusions Wonderful opportunity for all – if you miss on this one you will not prosper Should think broadly about what value auditing can add in a SOX-regulated information environment Can we do it / Yes we can – if...