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On Wednesday 8 November 2023, 3.30-5.00 pm CET, FAR will organize a Masterclass with Eddy Cardinaels & Simon Dekeyser on: Allocation of workload and human capital in audit offices

What is this Masterclass about?
The workload allocation process of assigning engagement partners in audit firms is an important topic of research (Lennox & Wu, 2018). This allocation process is not a unilateral decision made by the audit firm, but an outcome of negotiations and compromises between audit firms and audit partners. Thus, ideally, audit firms should carefully manage partners’ workloads and try to make a relatively balanced allocation of clients across their partners. Whilst the proper allocation of lead auditors plays a crucial rule in audit quality, many different actors, with their own unique incentives, may however influence the process, leading to potential mismatches and workloads that might not always be easy to manage.

The amount of engagements allocated to lead auditors determines their workload. When workloads become too high, dysfunctional behavior and reductions in audit quality can emerge (Lopez and Peters 2012). In a similar vein, the allocation of lead auditors to clients is related to audit risk (Simunic and Stein 1990 and Hollingsworth, 2012). Ideally, any lead auditor-client pairing decision should consider portfolio risk. Auditing firms should thus evaluate riskiness of the lead auditor’s client portfolio in their portfolio management processes (Hollingsworth 2012), as excess risk could constitute a problem.

In this masterclass, we will discuss our research findings related to the workload allocation process in audit firms. We will start with discussing whether there is archival evidence of a systematic difference in workload between male and female audit partners during the entire career of the partners. Next, we will delve deeper into this issue by discussing preliminary insights from interviews and surveys. We will also explore potential consequences that workload can have for audit quality.

Content of the Masterclass:

  1. Part 1. Gender and workload: empirical evidence
  2. Part 2: Interview approach
  3. Part 3. Survey approach

Register today! It's completely free! 

Please note that registration is required to participate. Registration closes on 4 November 2023 (11PM CET).

This Masterclass will be in English.

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FAR Masterclass  - Eddy Cardinaels & Simon Dekeyser
  • Date:
    8 November 2023

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About the speakers

Prof. dr. Eddy Cardinaels

Prof. dr. Eddy Cardinaels

Eddy Cardinaels (1975) is full Professor of accounting at Tilburg University and part-time professor at KU Leuven. His work combines new insights from psychology and behavioral economics to study how different information presentation (ABC, BSC, summaries of earnings releases) can affect decision making of managers within companies. Other experimental work focuses on drivers of honest reporting and social motives in inter-firm negotiations. He also conducts archival work on corporate governance examining how social connections between board members affect financial reporting, how companies use their networks to engage in tax avoidance and factors that drive (excess) compensation. 

Ass. Prof. Simon Dekeyser

Ass. Prof. Simon Dekeyser