Workshop Information

Thursday, January 26, 2023
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Workshop 1: Do Auditors Tend to Over rely on Emerging Technologies? Some Preliminary Evidence.

Presenters: Sridhar Ramamoorti, University of Dayton
Cory A Campbell, Indiana State University
Thomas G Calderon, The University of Akron

Abstract: Financial statement auditors rely upon sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to confirm that management assertions are proper, reasonable and supported. The evidentiary audit trail is significantly impacted by emerging technologies such as blockchain.

With assistance from the Assurance Innovation Team of the AICPA we surveyed AICPA members on their perceptions of how blockchain technology would influence their evaluation of evidence related to management assertions in financial statements. Separately, we collected data across management assertions pertaining to digital assets. We also collected demographic data pertaining to knowledge and understanding of auditing and blockchain technology, their confidence in the capabilities of blockchain technology, and their attitude towards technology innovation.

Our research paper explores how the orientation of auditors as technology optimists or pessimists/skeptics influences their reliance on blockchain-furnished evidence regarding management assertions in the financial statements. Specifically, with respect to audit evidence available from blockchain-enabled financial reporting environments, we conjecture two forms of “automation bias”—technology pessimists/skeptics are likely to under-rely on audit evidence whereas technology optimists are likely to over-rely on available audit evidence. Consequently, technology pessimists/skeptics will tend to under-rely and over-audit while optimists will tend to over-rely and under-audit.

The “Goldilocks Effect” refers to the ideal scenario where auditor perceptions of blockchain capabilities are “just right” resulting in an optimal level of auditing. We elicited responses from practicing members of the AICPA to better understand their perceptions of management assertions in the context of blockchain-enabled financial reporting systems and how those perceptions may influence the nature, timing, and the extent of audit procedures. In this workshop we will discuss our preliminary evidence on the tendency for auditors to over-rely on the blockchain-furnished audit trail across multiple management assertions in the financial statements.

Learning Objectives to include:

  • Evaluate the current audit assertion and how they may apply to distributed ledger technology.
  • Evaluate different risk factors that may be introduced vis-a-via a blockchain-enabled environment.
  • Recognize potential hurdles that emergent technology poses on the audit assertions.
  • Examine the potential implication of emergent technology on auditor perceptions and the potential effect on professionalisms skepticism.
  • Consider possible de-biasing strategies for auditing "just right."

Thursday, January 26, 2023
10:15 am – 12:15 pm

Workshop 2: From Raw Data to a Story – A Tableau Visualization Case from a Professional’s Perspective

Presenter: Alicja Foksinska Arnold (Protective Life and The University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Abstract: We call accounting the language of business, yet it takes skill to communicate financial data in a manner that non-accountants will understand. This is where the importance of storytelling in data analytics comes into play. A story allows the audience to connect to the content in a presentation. Presenting financial data in a series of relatable and compelling stories distinguishes an accountant from their peers. They build a reputation as someone who is not only proficient in accounting but can also communicate financial data in a manner that allows the audience to understand the data and take action.

We want our students to hit the ground running in this regard. During this workshop, we will discuss the critical visualization building blocks for converting raw data into effective visualizations. We will walk the audience through a use case the presenter has encountered in her position as senior internal auditor around manual journal entries. We have incorporated this skill into our classes.

Learning Objectives to include:

  • Discuss the importance of data visualization and storytelling.
  • Walk through use case in manual journal entries, as encountered in the author’s current position as Lead Auditor.

Thursday, January 26, 2023
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Workshop 3: “Grounding" Theories of Audit Analytics

Presenters: Tom Stafford, Louisiana Tech University
Tawei David Wang, DePaul University
Sharif Islam, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Abstract: Analytics is increasingly popular and important in accounting research and practice. The time has come to theorize on its place in practice and its value in research given its popularity, and this workshop proposes to do that. The workshop will demonstrate the Grounded Theory Method for theoretical development as part of its agenda, using the specific topical focus of audit analytics. A tutorial demonstration of the Grounded Theory Method (GTM) will involve the live development and coding of qualitative data from participants about analytics uses; the illumination gained with the participants and the topical demonstration will serve as the starting point to develop an induced mid-level theoretical model of audit analytics in research and practice. Professors Sharif Islam (Southern Illinois) and David Wang (DePaul) will participate as moderators and discussion leaders, along with Professor Tom Stafford (Louisiana Tech) who will deliver the Grounded Theory Method demonstration. Participants will be rewarded by the experience of the direct demonstration of GTM as well as sharing in the insights developed from the encounter on the nature of audit analytics in the profession and the literature.

Learning Objectives to include:

  • To acquaint the attendee with the Grounded Theory Method of developing theoretical constructions about auditing analytics.
  • To demonstrate an emergent investigation leading to a theory of audit analytics, with applied demonstrations of the Nvivo software used in Grounded Theory analysis. 
  • To further build a community of researchers interested in audit analytics and leading to theoretical development about the analytical auditing practice. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023
3:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Workshop 4: Visualization Unleashed: Theoretical and Hands-on training to Improve Communication Skills

Presenters: Juergen Sidgman, University of Alaska Anchorage

Abstract: This workshop is intended for accounting faculty teaching or planning to teach an accounting analytics course or for faculty who are interested in improving their communication skills by mastering the power of visualizations. The workshop will begin with a general introduction to address various types of data and visualizations, followed by their appropriate contextual use. Then, the session will explore the human anatomy and cognitive characteristics that affect the audience’s ability to receive messages delivered using visuals. Attendees will also have the opportunity to review visualization best practices (the do’s and don’ts).

To help learning to take root, attendees will strengthen their developing expertise by working through multiple real-world scenarios that will require them to adapt and apply the reviewed material to a variety of real-world communication problems. In addition, attendees will be guided through the development of their own visuals to improve their expertise and confidence. Practice will take place using Tableau.

Not familiar with Tableau? Nothing to worry about. Although this workshop is not about data visualization software, the session will reserve appropriate time to instruct essential Tableau skills for the attendees who lack expertise using this software.

Learning Objectives to include:

  • Describe the preattentive attributes and the systems that we use to process the world around us.
  • Describe the fundamental aspects of visual perception and how these relate to data visualization.
  • Explain how data encoded in charts can be used and what are common problems with various types of charts.
  • Apply the storytelling process to visualizations.