Investigating the Backstage of Audit Engagements: The Paradox of Team Diversity

Amyar, Firdaus, Hidayah, Nunung Nurul, Lowe, Alan D and Woods, Margaret (2018). Investigating the Backstage of Audit Engagements: The Paradox of Team Diversity. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal , (In Press)


There has been very little qualitative ‘field work’ of audit practice. This is especially the case in relation to investigations into how audit engagements proceed. A key motivation for our research is to engage with audit practice in order to explore and explain the internal dynamics and paradoxical conditions within audit engagement teams. Our research adopts a qualitative methodology, framed around an intensive case study that involves several methods of data collection and analysis including interviews, observation and document analysis. We observe audit team practices, work programs, and organisation including observations of individual and teams involved in audit engagements. Using the lens of paradox theory we explore the backstage of audit work, where audit teams are challenged with recurring contradictory requirements and opposing demands. We provide insight on the complexity associated with inadequate resourcing and planning that tend to stimulate the emergence of paradoxes in audit engagement work in a government audit context. As a result we identify the occurrence of cascading RAQP as the teams respond to the paradoxes they face. We reveal the interlinked and cumulative coping strategies, namely downplaying responsibility and downscaling audit processes. These strategies are performed concurrently by team leaders and audit members to manage paradoxical tensions. We also identified superficial audit supervision as another type of RAQP performed by team leaders.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Aston Business School
Aston Business School > Accounting
Additional Information: © Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018.
Uncontrolled Keywords: paradox theory, audit engagement team, team diversity, reduced audit quality practices, auditors coping strategies
Accepted Date: 2018-04-27
Authors: Amyar, Firdaus
Hidayah, Nunung Nurul ( 0000-0003-3178-4584)
Lowe, Alan D
Woods, Margaret



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 January 2050.

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