An Examination of Auditor Confirmation Bias and Audit Quality With an Emphasis on the Moderating Role of Client and Auditor Characteristics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, Department of Accounting, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Accounting, East Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The main purpose of this study is to explain the effect of confirmation bias on audit quality and the moderating roles of client characteristics (market value and institutional shareholder’s ownership) and auditor (industry specialist auditor and first-class stock exchange trusted auditor) on audit quality and the relationship between them. For this purpose, a sample of 146 firms listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange, including 1314 firm-year during 2012-2020, was collected and analyzed. In this study, financial restatement and the absolute value of discretionary accruals were used as audit quality proxy. The results showed that confirmation bias has a negative effect on audit quality. The results also demonstrated that the adverse effects of confirmation bias on audit quality are less for clients with high market value, high institutional ownership percentage, and audits performed by industry specialist auditors and first-class stock exchange trusted auditors. The findings of this research could lead to the development of theoretical foundations in the audit context, especially audit judgment and audit risk assessment. Further, the study results suggest that additional training in order to mitigate the auditors’ use of heuristics may be beneficial.


Main Subjects

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