Carissa Malone, PhD student, Sean Hillison, assistant professor, and Sudip Bhattacharjee, Tom Wells and Kathy Dargo Professor, were awarded the Best PhD Student Paper Award by the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association at their 2021 Auditing Midyear Meeting in January 2021. Their paper, Auditing from a Distance: The Impact of Remote Auditing and Supervisor Monitoring on Analytical Procedures Judgments, was selected from conference submissions for the Best PhD Student Paper Award which was established to recognize high-quality submissions to the Auditing Section Midyear Meeting.

The paper examines how two remote auditing factors, the distance between the auditor and their client (i.e., whether the auditor is working in the field or remotely) and the frequency of the supervisor’s status update request, can impact auditors’ judgments. They find that when working remotely, auditors considered a greater range of potential causes to explain the unexpected fluctuations in financial statements and exhibit higher decision quality in uncovering the cause of the fluctuations, when asked to provide status updates less frequently rather than more frequently. Therefore, working remotely can enhance audit quality, conditional on the nature of the supervisor’s monitoring. Audit supervisors may consider delicately balancing the frequency of monitoring of remote workers to allow for the benefits of remote auditing to manifest.