This paper provides evidence as to how five factors highlighted in the current UK auditing standard are taken into account by auditors in analytical review (AR) judgements. While the relative importance of particular cues was generally found to be consistent with the standard, certain factors were taken into account only to a marginal extent. Little evidence of configural cue usage was identified. The study also provides evidence of a tendency towards conservatism in the way auditors approach AR. The results suggest both that the potential to substitute AR for other substantive procedures may be realised only imperfectly and that the issue of configural reasoning should be addressed in the auditing standard.
- analytical review; auditor analytical review judgement; auditing standards; configural information processing; conversation