SIMPOSIUM NASIONAL AKUNTANSI VI
Surabaya, 16 – 17 Oktober 2003
THE EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND TASK-SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE
ON AUDITOR’S PERFORMANCE IN ASSESSING A FRAUD CASE
Universitas Gadjah Mada
The objective of this study is to investigate the relationships of auditors’ experience, knowledge, and
performance. Specifically, it examined whether the task-specific knowledge variable could affect the
relationship between the auditor’s experience and performance in assessing fraud. .
The study hypothesized
that the difference between experienced auditors and inexperienced auditors’ cue selection performance will
be larger in the fraud risk than in the control risk
In addition, it also hypothesized that
knowledge will improve auditors’ performance in the fraud risk task,
it hypothesized that the
combination of experience and fraud training would improve auditor’s performance in assessing the tasks.
Using a sample of 64 auditors and 42 students, the results failed to support the first hypothesis. However, as
expected, the study provided support for the second and third hypotheses.
Key words: Auditors’ experience; task-specific knowledge; auditors’ performance; fraud.
Research on judgment and decision making in accounting and auditing has generally studied the
effects of experience on subjects’ performance by using knowledge effects factors. On the other
hand, it is rare for those studies to use the fraud assessment case. This research attempted to link
these two streams of research. It investigated the relationships among experience, knowledge, and
performance. Specifically, it examined whether the task-specific knowledge variable could affect
the relationship between the auditor’s experience and performance in assessing fraud case.
This study is motivated by several important issues in the judgment and decision making
in accounting and auditing area.
, one issue which has earned special attention in the literature
is the relationships between experience and performance. Prior studies in this area provide
contradictory findings. Some studies indicated that experience should be regarded as an important
factor on auditors’ performance prediction (Butt, 1988; Bonner, 1990; Libby and Frederick, 1990;
Choo and Trotman, 1991; Tubbs, 1992; Davis, 1996; Shelton, 1999; Knapp and Knapp, 2001). On
the other hand, some studies indicated that there are no differences between experienced auditors
and inexperienced auditors on auditors’ performance (Ashton, 1974;
Ashton and Brown, 1980;
Ashton, 1991). These contrary results perhaps can be explained by the consideration of knowledge
required to perform the tasks (Frederick and Libby, 1986). Additionally, some studies provided
evidence that task-specific knowledge is an important factor to explain the relationship between
experience and performance (Frederick and Libby, 1986; Ashton, 1991; Bonner and Lewis, 1990;