An exploratory study of auditors’ perceptions of sanction threats


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The ongoing debate regarding the desirability of extending certain provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to auditors of nonpublic companies creates a need for a better understanding of the effectiveness of existing sanctioning mechanisms in the accounting profession. To provide input on this issue, the current paper reports the results of an exploratory study of perceived sanction threats among CPA/auditors employed by small public accounting firms. A survey of AICPA members in public practice was conducted to assess the perceived threat of sanctions for auditor acquiescence in a client earnings manipulation scheme. The results indicate that, prior to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, CPAs perceived a relatively high threat from many types of professional sanctions, and that most sanction threats appeared to act as a deterrent to fraud. However, the perceived likelihood of criminal conviction and CPA license revocation were relatively low. The findings also indicate that the materiality of the financial statement ma
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209 - 231
Number of pages23
JournalResearch in Accounting Regulation
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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