How is auditor commercialism related to audit quality and efficiency?


This study will (1) examine whether a tradeoff actually exists between auditors’ commercial and professional motivations and (2) whether audit firms’ quality control mechanisms create conditions in which the two sets of motivations are (or can be) even mutually reinforcing.


Stakeholders to the auditing process have frequently asserted that there is a fundamental conflict between auditors’ professional obligations and commercial interests, i.e., auditing as a profession versus auditing as a business – fueling regulatory and standard-setting interventions. The study may very well contribute to the demystification of current perceptions of (partners’ and firms’) focus on commercialism versus professionalism (or regulatory focus on quality over the firms’ business model).

Project Number

Research Team
Dr. William Ciconte
Marleen Willekens
Dr. Justin Leiby

Involved University
University of Illinois (USA)

09/17 – 08/21