Auditing Section
American Accounting Association

The Auditing Section: Reflections on a Fourteen Year History
D. Dewey Ward - Historian - August, 1990
Standing Committees


Research

In the early years of the Section, this committee's primary responsibility was to select papers for presentation at the annual meeting. The quality of papers submitted and presented over the years at annual meetings has been high. At the 1981 annual meeting it was announced that the Section's research activities were to be reorganized to create three subcommittees under the Research Committee Chairperson. These three subcommittees were given the responsibility for 1) the audit research bibliography, 2) annual meeting research presentations, and 3) research liaison with auditing institutions.

In 1981, reports to members in annual meeting concurrent sessions on technical issues other than research were introduced. Chairman Bart Ward had announced in 1980 his intention of forming technical committees. The first one was created to explore current utilization of computers in audit education and research and its report was presented at the 1981 annual meeting. It was decided at that time that future technical committees would work with the chairpersons of the Annual Meeting Research Subcommittee in arranging for technical presentations of their work.

The first draft of the Auditing Research Bibliography was completed in the Spring of 1980 under the direction of Robert E. Hamilton. It was placed in the working paper series of the Auditing Research Center at the University of Georgia. The Bibliography Committee also has the responsibility to provide recommendations for revising the Bibliography in future years. In 1984, Gary Holstrum worked, with financial support from Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., to place the Bibliography into a key-word search diskette.

The Research Committee, under the direction of Ira Solomon, was instrumental in a three year research project culminating in the publication of Research Opportunities in Auditing: The Second Decade (1988). This was the Section's first research monograph. The purpose of the monograph was to develop an agenda for auditing research priorities for the next decade and disseminate the findings to the public and potential researchers in monograph form. In addition to being extremely beneficial to members with regard to research needs and opportunities in auditing, it received further distinction because the editors, Ira Solomon and Rashad Abdel-khalik, were recipients of the 1989-90 Wildman Award, given by the AAA under the sponsorship of Deloitte and Touche. The Wildman Award is given annually to the author(s) of research work published during the preceding three years that is judged to have the most significant impact on the advancement of the Public Practice of Accountancy.

For the monograph project, the Peat Marwick Foundation had provided two special grants to the Auditing Section to update the research agenda of the first Research Opportunities in Auditing volume (1976). The first special grant, announced in January of 1986, was to support preparation of the manuscript. The second grant was to support the printing of copies of the report for subscribers of Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory and for major university libraries. The grants were awarded on the basis of proposals prepared by the Section's Audit Research Agenda Committee, which was organized under the direction of the Section's Research Committee. Five subcommittees were organized with each being responsible for a particular subject area. An evaluation panel assisted in editing the subcommittee's final drafts. Exhibit II details the subject of each of the monograph's chapters, as well as the authors, editors, and evaluation panel.

Exhibit II - Research Opportunities In Auditing: The Second Decade

Editors:
A. Rashad Abdel-khalik
Chairman Auditing Research
Agenda Committee
Ira Solomon
Director of Research
AAA Auditing Section
Chapter 1 - Integration and Perspectives on
Substantive Audit Issues
by Ira Solomon
Jack L. Krogstad
Chapter 2 - Audit Approaches and Techniques by Abraham D. Akresh
James K. Loebbecke
William R. Scott
Chapter 3 - Technological Development and EDP by Andrew D. Bailey
Lynford E. Graham
James V. Hansen
Chapter 4 Audit Decision Making by Robert H. Ashton
Don N. Kleinmuntz
John B. Sullivan
Lawrence A. Tomassini
Chapter 5 The Subject Matter of Auditing by Edward J. Blocher
Robert Roussey
Bart H. Ward
Chapter 6 The Environment of Auditing by Chee W. Chow
Lewis Kramer
Wanda A. Wallace
Evaluation Panel Barry E. Cushing
William L. Felix
Michael Gibbins
William R. Kinney, Jr.
Jack L. Krogstad
William E. McCarthy
William F. Messier, Jr.

One of the most important research activities of the Section is the publication of Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory. In 1978, Fred Neumann was given a special assignment to study the feasibility of an auditing journal. In 1979, Jay Smith continued assessing the feasibility of the Section initiating an auditing journal, and recommended that a task force be established to make the final decision. The task force members were Neil Churchill, W. W. Cooper, William Kinney, Jr., James Loebbecke, Donald Leslie and Jay Smith. The task force was also charged, assuming an affirmative recommendation, with the responsibility for developing editorial policy, selecting editors and establishing publication and financial guidelines. The task force recommended the publication of a journal. William W. Cooper was named as the journal's first editor and the other members of the task force served as the first editorial board.

The first issue of AJPT was presented at the annual meeting in 1981 by Chairman Bart Ward. Of this event, Jack Krogstad wrote, "While Editor Bill Cooper was primarily responsible for the first issue, it seemed as if the culmination of the process begun over three years earlier provided a rallying point for Section members. Perhaps the journal symbolically captured the enthusiasm for and pride in the Auditing Section that so many of those present had developed." Two issues of the journal are published annually. Due to escalating costs, the Executive Committee decided in 1988 to implement a submission fee of $50 for AJPT which went into effect on January 1,1989. Since its inception, the journal has established a reputation of high quality, due in large part to the conscientious efforts of its editors. Exhibit III lists those who have served as editors for the journal.

Exhibit III- Editors of Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory

81 William W. Cooper
82-83 Carl Warren
83-84 Carl Warren
84-85 Andrew Bailey/Kurt Pany
85-86 Andrew Bailey/Kurt Pany
86-87 Andrew Bailey/Kurt Pany
87-88 Jack Krogstad
88-89 Jack Krogstad
89-90 Jack Krogstad
90-91 Joe Schultz

Education

Under the direction of Jack Krogstad in 1984, the Education Committee was formed as another standing committee of the Section. Jay Smith served as the first chairperson. The committee promotes audit education issues by organizing education oriented activities at the annual meeting and encouraging such activities at the regional level. During its first year, the committee developed a detailed set of "Learning Objectives of the Auditing Curriculum" which is designed to aid auditing educators in meeting specific learning objectives in their respective auditing curricula.

The Education Committee has also been involved with the Coopers and Lybrand Foundation on the Excellence in Audit Education Program. This program is considered a "partnership" between C & L and the Section who have the common goal of improving audit education. Many Section officers and past officers serve on a faculty advisory group to the C&L Foundation and help with the development of the materials which C&L ultimately presented to auditing educators around the country. These materials include a videotape simulation of an audit (CableCo Chronicles), cases from C&L's practice, learning objectives for the auditing curriculum, a videotape simulation specifically addressing planning, risk analysis and materiality (Dermaceutics, Inc.), and a microcomputer database to enable students to gain an understanding of Dermaceutics' business and industry.

The Education Committee has further addressed a wide number of education topics including the Treadway Recommendations, proposed changes in the CPA examination and fraud detection. With the increasing focus on accounting education and its deficiencies (i.e., work of the Accounting Education Change Commission) the activities of the Education Committee will continue to be an important activity of the Audit Section.

Continuing Professional Education

One of the earliest priorities of the Section was to establish continuing education programs for academics as a part of AAA annual and regional meetings. The CPE Chairperson is responsible for providing information to regional chairpersons which will assist them in structuring CPE activities. This committee has also been given the charge of sponsoring one or more CPE sessions relating to auditing in connection with the annual meeting, and to report on significant committee activities at the annual business meeting.

A wide variety of CPE courses have been offered at regional and annual meetings. Since 1979, chairpersons from all regions have been able to offer some type of CPE activity to members at regional meetings. An indication of the success of much of the CPE activity is that many of the CPE programs offered at the national meeting in recent years have been sold out to capacity of the room.

Membership

The Membership Committee is responsible for maintaining a current listing of Section members for use by the Executive Committee in making policy decisions and designing programs. This committee is also responsible for planning and execution of programs to enhance Section membership. Over the years, activities of this committee to increase awareness of the Section and its activities have included the distribution of letters, copies of the newsletter, and other materials to various organizations which may have membership interest.

Auditing Standards Committee

This committee began as a AAA committee which resulted from a proposal submitted to the AAA by the Section. Section members have always been actively involved in administering this committee and various subcommittees which are organized to address specific issues related to the establishment of auditing standards. In 1987, the AAA turned responsibility for the Auditing Standards Committee over to the Auditing Section.

The Section newsletter has been an important outlet to solicit participation and to publicize the activities of the various subcommittees functioning under the direction of the Auditing Standards Committee. The committee works closely with the Auditing Standards Division of the AICPA. The primary purpose of this committee is to evaluate discussion drafts and exposure drafts of proposed Statements on Auditing Standards and to provide research support for the AICPA Auditing Standards Division upon request by officers of the Division.

Communications

The Section's first Director of Communications was appointed in 1988. This position was created to serve as a focal point for both internal and external communications of the Section.


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