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Newsletter September 2021

23 September 2021

Newsletter September 2021

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In this newsletter:

  • Recent publications
  • Online conference "Centre for Accounting Research and Education" on 29 September 2021
  • FAR paper wins EARNet Best Paper Award
  • Upcoming events – save the dates!

Recent publications:

Recently, two publications have appeared that we would like to share with you:

  1. "Has the quality of auditing increased?" (Dutch)
  2. "Retaining the learning professional: A survival study on workplace learning in professional service firms"

The first article entitled "Has the quality of auditing increased?" (Is de kwaliteit van de accountantscontrole gestegen?) was written by Christian Peters and published online at the 'Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie' (MAB) on July 12, 2021.

The quality of statutory audits in the Netherlands has been the subject of heated debate for a number of years. The government, audit firms, the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA), and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) have all announced far-reaching improvement measures to work towards better audit quality. This raises the question of the state of audit quality in the Netherlands and how it has developed in recent years.

Audit quality is a complex and wide ranging concept that consists of an input, process, and outcome level. In this study, Christian Peters focuses on the outcome level of statutory audits: the reporting quality of the audited financial statements. He does this based on a widely used measure from the scientific literature: discretionary accruals. Results show that the outcome quality of statutory audits of listed companies increased significantly over the period 2000-2018.

Read the article here

The second article is entitled "Retaining the learning professional: A survival study on workplace learning in professional service firms" (ENG). This article was written by Therese Grohnert, Roger Meuwissen and Wim Gijselaers, and published online May 8, 2021 in 'Human Resource Development Quarterly'.

This study explores whether factors that drive learning at work also mitigate professionals' turnover behavior, based on the need to retain this crucial knowledge in the firm.
Lowering professional turnover is of paramount importance for professional services firms, as with each professional, crucial knowledge leaves the firm. Building on insights from both workplace learning and turnover research, this study follows 96 professional auditors across a period of 5 years to determine how drivers for workplace learning at the organizational, the social interaction, and the individual level relate to turnover behavior.

Read the article here

Online conference "Center for Accounting Research and Education" on 29 September 2021

Highly recommended!

With over 70 industry and academic speakers, this conference is the first of several conferences on the topic Accounting for Sustainability and Responsible Investing. These conferences will bring together accountants, finance-professionals, law-professionals, law-makers, standard-setters, economists, investors, and scientists as well as academics from the sciences, accounting, finance, law and economics as a vehicle for change. We look forward to your participation in the discussion of the critical issues of accounting for sustainability and responsible investing.

To register for the second day of this conference on 29 September, please click the button below.

CARE registration

FAR paper wins EARNet Best Paper Award

On September 10 and 11, the EARNet 2021 conference was organized. EARNet is one of the important audit research conferences and was organized this year by the VU - albeit virtually. Anna Gold, Philip Wallage and Kris Hardies had the central organization.

Joseph Brazel, Anna Gold, Justin Leiby and Tammie Schaefer were named the winners of the Best Paper Award, at the EARNet conference. The winning paper is titled, "Can Audit Committee Support Improve Auditors' Application of Professional Skepticism?" This paper is based on research data collected through the Foundation for Auditing Research. We are therefore proud of the researchers and this positive appreciation of the research results based on the FAR collaboration with Dutch audit firms.
The survey results show that audit committees support audit teams in a variety of ways. Among other things, the researchers conclude that it helps if partners pass on the audit committee's support to the audit team. This leads to a better fit between professional-critical judgments and professional-critical actions. Thus, that communication need not be done directly by the audit committee itself.
In addition to the FAR paper by Brazel, Gold, Leiby and Schaefer, Lena Pieper also presented a FAR research paper entitled "What is it about auditors that matters? An exploration of auditors' personality, skills and audit quality".

FAR researchers were also emphatically active in the PhD program, including PhD students James Zhang, Paul Masereel, Iver Wiertz and Tjibbe Bosman.
Tjibbe Bosman provided the plenary session with his co-authored paper, "Audit Firm Culture, Audit Quality and Office Growth: Multi-method Evidence". Seven of the nine senior faculty who accompanied the PhD conference are also conducting research with FAR (including Robert Knechel, Jere Francis, Justin Leiby and Marleen Willekens).
By the way, the Best Paper Award was shared with another paper on professional skepticism: "Trait Professional Skepticism: A Precursor to More Qualified Auditing Recruits?" by Allen Blay, Bud Fennema and Michelle McAllister.
The EARNet conference takes place once every two years.
Below are the link to the winning FAR study and a link to information about the past EARNet Congress.

Winning FAR paper

EARNet conference 2021

Upcoming events – save the dates!

Online FAR Masterclass by Prof. dr. Anna Gold and Ass. Prof. Andrew Trotman
On Friday 19 November 2021, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. CET, FAR will organize an online Masterclass with Anna Gold (VU Amsterdam) and Andrew Trotman (Northeastern University) about their research project 'Coordination and communication challenges in global group audits: evidence from component audit leaders'. Registration opens soon, so keep an eye on our website and LinkedIn page!

FAR Young Auditing Academic Brown Bag Seminars
On Friday, December 3, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. CET, FAR is hosting its next Brown Bag Seminar for Young Academics and Young Profs.

Lena Pieper (Maastricht University) will present her paper "What is it about auditors that matter? An exploration of auditors' personality, skills, and performance", followed by a discussion by Linde Kerckhofs (VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Afterwards, there is an opportunity for the participants to ask questions.

Are you part of the target group and would you like to attend as well? Please send an email to

Do you have suggestions on how to improve our newsletter or news you would like to share with us? Please let us know by sending an email to

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