Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PhD in Accountancy


Department of Accountancy

First Advisor

Jay C. Thibodeau

Second Advisor

Jean C. Bedard

Third Advisor

Christine E. Earley


Technology as an exogenous shock has proven to have pervasive effects on auditing firms, practitioners, regulators, and global markets. However, the dynamic nature of technology makes it uniquely challenging to articulate technology’s largescale implications on the auditing profession in recent times. Understanding how current technology has helped shape the contemporary auditing profession is vital to identify points of inflection within the industry (i.e., areas of risk and change), and key to elucidating the future of where the field is going.

The first paper (sole-authored) is a literature review that synthesizes auditing studies across methodologies, including archival, experimental, and qualitative methods. Such studies discretely consider technological circumstances unique to the auditing profession; however, to date, no comprehensive review exists that synthesizes what these technological changes mean for audit quality. I map prior literature to the Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) recommended Audit Quality Indicators.

In the second paper (sole-authored) I investigate how in-charge auditors in NGNFs engage in institutional work using technology-based audit tools (TBATs) to impact audit quality. Using semi-structured interviews in tandem with institutional theory, I identify factors that are associated with in-charge auditors’ propensity to engage in institutional work, being actions that contribute to the development, continuance, and/or breach of established practices. My results reveal patterns of common motivators, resources, and outcomes of in-charges’ institutional work to impact audit quality at a process level. Findings have important implications for theory, as I find evidence that institutional work can arise from nontraditional sources of less powerful and individual actors.

The third paper (co-authored) investigates the roles that audit partners of NGNFs play in shaping the technological future of auditing through the lens of institutional theory. Using an experiential survey, we explore the nature of these institutional isomorphic pressures as they occur in unison with the theory of institutional work. We uncover a surprisingly synergistic, as opposed to paradoxical, relationship between how isomorphic pressures foster conformity amidst innovation stemming from within these firms. Data suggest partners engage in creating and maintaining acts of institutional work that are motivated by professional marketplace expectations and ambiguity stemming from technology within the field.