Elevating Professional Reasoning in Auditing. Psycho-Professional Factors Affecting Auditor's Professional Judgement and Skepticism
Journal of Accounting and Auditing Research & Practice
The behaviour, as well as the professional conduct, both corroborated with the implications of the decisions taken by each professional in the field in which he carries out his activity, has represented the subject of researches in many disciplines, such as: psychology, medicine, economics and law. This aspect leads to the fact that the exercise of professional judgment is a process indispensable to each field of activity. In this regard, and especially in the context of this paper, it is
... ant to specify that the assessment of the professional judgment's quality and correctness is a difficult issue, especially for the situation in which, professionals'opinions may be different. The issue of professional judgment and decision-making process has an interdisciplinary character, being treated in areas such as: psychology, medicine, law, accounting, etc. The interdisciplinary approach of this process gives it a high degree of complexity. Facts also revealed, by the large number of researches in the specialty literature, the diversity of factors that compete in the foundation of the professional judgment and decision-making process. Auditors' role and responsibilities is a controversial topic that has generated, in recent years, many discussions among specialists in the field. With the economic changes caused by the global crisis that "poisoned" the entire world, the risks to which auditors are subject to have grown and diversified considerably. This paper explored the ways in which the audit mission's efficiency is given by a theoretical and practical approach of the whole process. Therefore, this paper aims to present a model able to depict the picture of the main psycho-professional traits that characterize the behaviour involved in exercising this process of professional judgment. The paper adopted a descriptive methodology in outlining the influence of psychological traits for an effective reasoning. Precisely, it tested the causal processes by which certain abilities and traits of the auditor influence the quality of the audit mission. The findings of this paper point out the fact that in addition to the theoretical knowledge related to a professional training, it is necessary that the auditor, who carries on his activity, has sufficient experience, communication and teamwork skills, the ability to distinguishe the important and relevant elements for the fulfilment of his duties, and the responsibility regarding his tasks. The conclusion was reached that the manifestation of a skeptical and objective attitude contributes to the exercise of control over the decisions taken and the results obtained. Moreover, the combination of professional qualities and competences with psychological ones aims to provide correct, clear and compelling solutions for beneficiaries of the audit report. The paper proposes that further research efforts could empirically assess the extent to which psychological elements can influence auditors' professional judgment in diverse cultures.