Cookie preferences
Settings I agree

2016B05 - Professional skepticism profiles, effects on audit processes and outcomes, and the moderating role of audit firm culture (Dr. Hardies)


This study focuses on a firm’s potential improvement of professional skepticism in the interplay between an auditor’s innate professional skepticism (personality trait), audit firm culture and audit quality by addressing three questions: How skeptical are auditors by nature in different ranks and experience levels? How does this professional skepticism affect the audit process auditors apply and the ultimate audit quality achieved? And how does firm and team culture affect professional skepticism in the audit?


This study will provide insights into what more skeptical auditors by nature do differently during the audit process and whether or not this leads to higher levels of audit quality (nature, timing, and extent of audit procedures) – and, through that, it will enable firms to strengthen firm culture in promoting professional skepticism (and more specifically how to provide the fruitful ground for less skeptical auditors by nature to perform a skeptical audit nevertheless). These insights are also highly relevant in relation to regulators (IFIAR, AFM, PCAOB) and standard setters (IAASB).

Knowledge dissemination

2017 FAR International Conference Summary - MAB Special Edition

2019 FAR International Conference Summary - How do professional skepticism profiles affect audit processes? A sneak peek of preliminary observations

FAR Masterclass on "Professional Skepticism"- 9 October 2019.

FAR Masterclass report - 9 October 2019: Masterclass by Kris Hardies and Sanne Janssen on 'Professional Skepticism' - December 2019

FAR Vlog with Ann Vanstraelen, Kris Hardies and Sanne Janssen - December 2019

FARview #10 with dr. Sanne Janssen

FAR Working Paper - Auditors’ Professional Skepticism: Traits, Behavioral Intentions, and Actions

FAR Working Paper - Professional Skepticism Traits and Fraud Brainstorming Quality

Back to overview
  • Project Number
  • Research team
    Dr. Kris Hardies
    Prof. dr. Ann Vanstraelen
    Prof. Karla Zehms
    Dr. Sanne Janssen
  • Involved University
    University of Antwerp
  • Timeline
    01/2017 - 12/2020