Does Accounting Education Affect Professional Skepticism and Audit Judgment?

Dewi Fatmawati, Arizona Mustikarini, Inneke Puspita Fransiska

Abstract


ABSTRACT

This study examines the extent to which enrollment in accounting programs influences students’ skepticism levels. We compare the skepticism scores between final-year accounting students in undergraduate and professional programs. This study also investigates the impacts of trait skepticism and situational skepticism on the participants’ initial judgment of fraud or errors. Situational skepticism in this study is represented by audit experience from previous years. This study employs an experimental design of 2x3 between-subjects, where trait skepticism is divided into higher and lower levels, and the audit experience from previous years is manipulated into positive, negative and neutral. The participants in this study are 227 accounting students from both undergraduate and professional programs. The results of this study show that accounting students in the professional program are likely to exhibit higher levels of trait skepticism compared to their counterparts in the undergraduate program. The results also indicate that participants make an audit judgment based mainly on their prior experience with the client, not on their trait skepticism. This propensity is more salient particularly in the case of the less-skeptical participants. In sum, the higher that the formal education of a participant is, then the higher is his/her trait skepticism, and thus he/she is able to retain his/her skeptical judgments regardless of his/her prior experience with the client.

Keywords: Education and training; professional accounting program; trait skepticism; situational skepticism; Indonesia

ABSTRAK

Makalah ini mengkaji tahap sejauh mana pendaftaran dalam program perakaunan mempengaruhi tahap skeptisisme pelajar. Kami membandingkan skor skeptisisme di antara pelajar perakaunan akhir tahun dalam program sarjana dan profesional. Kajian ini juga menyelidik kesan skeptisisme bawaan dan skeptisisme keadaan terhadap penilaian awal peserta terhadap penipuan atau ralat. Skeptisisme keadaan dalam kajian ini diwakili oleh pengalaman audit dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Kajian ini menggunakan reka bentuk eksperimen 2x3 antara subjek, di mana skeptisisme bawaan dibahagikan kepada tahap yang tinggi dan rendah, dan pengalaman audit dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya dimanipulasi menjadi positif, negatif dan neutral. Peserta dalam kajian ini adalah terdiri daripada 227 pelajar perakaunan dari program sarjana dan profesional. Hasil kajian ini menunjukkan bahawa pelajar perakaunan dalam program profesional cenderung menunjukkan tahap skeptisisme bawaan yang lebih tinggi berbanding rakan sejawat mereka dalam program sarjana. Hasil kajian juga menunjukkan bahawa para peserta membuat penilaian audit berdasarkan pengalaman terdahulu mereka dengan klien, dan bukan berdasarkan skeptisisme bawaan mereka. Kecenderungan ini lebih menonjol, terutamanya untuk kes peserta yang kurang skeptikal. Kesimpulannya, semakin tinggi tahap pendidikan formal peserta, semakin tinggi skeptisisme bawaannya, dan dengan itu dapat mempertahankan penilaiannya skeptikalnya tanpa menghiraukan pengalaman terdahulunya dengan klien.

Kata kunci: Pendidikan dan latihan; program profesion perakaunan; skeptisisme bawaan; skeptisisme keadaan; Indonesia


Keywords


Trait skepticism; Situational skepticism; Auditor judgment; Training and education; Indonesia

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