Professional standards place specific responsibilities on auditors for the discovery of material mis-statements in reports of corporate financial performance. Certain factors have been shown to increase the likelihood of fraudulent financial reporting. One warning sign is the potentially pervasive effect of a weak internal control environment consistent with a weak internal audit group. This study investigates the impact of internal audit department quality differences on auditors' willingness to place reliance on the work performed by internal auditors. The study also gives consideration to auditors' recent experiences with material errors and irregularities and examines the influence of two previously untested individual auditor differences on audit judgment decisions: (1) conflict management style and (2) perception of internal/external auditor communication barriers. The results indicate that auditors attend to internal audit department quality differences and that individual auditor differences exhibit significant influence over auditor judgments. Implications for audit practice are considered and directions for future research are suggested.
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