Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PhD in Accountancy


Department of Accountancy

First Advisor

Jean C. Bedard

Second Advisor

Anna Gold

Third Advisor

Rani Hoitash

Fourth Advisor

Mark F. Zimbelman


Auditors frequently gather information by conducting client inquiries (Bennett and Hatfield 2013; Hirst and Koonce 1996; Trompeter and Wright 2010). When clients are attempting to hide frauds and irregularities, auditors need to be alert during inquiries to verbal and nonverbal cues emanating from clients that might be indicative of intentional deception. This dissertation consists of two studies investigating the detection of deception in client inquiries. The first study provides a summary of extant literature examining deception detection, with an emphasis on those studies that have implications for client inquiries. I propose several avenues for future research that will contribute to academic literature as well as practice. In addition, I examine how the use of computer-mediated communication to conduct client inquiries might impact the detection of client deception. The second study of this dissertation examines an important and potentially problematic characteristic of a typical client inquiry; namely, that client inquiries generally involve a single auditor. The use of a single auditor to conduct client inquiries can limit the ability of auditors to detect deception. I examine how behavioral cues indicative of deception (specifically, deceptive clients' levels of discussion and nervousness during inquiries) are affected by the participation of an additional auditor, and whether a dual-auditor team is more likely than a single auditor to detect deception. The results indicate that the presence of an additional auditor during client inquiries has a significant effect on auditors' perceptions of the extent to which a client participates in discussion, as well as client nervousness. In addition, my results suggest that dual-auditor teams are better able to incorporate these deceptive cues into subsequent decisions. This paper contributes to prior studies on client inquiries and interpersonal deception theory (Buller and Burgoon 1996).