The impact of quantitative materiality, perceived responsibility and machiavellianism on tax professionals' decision making regarding fraud detection and reporting in the PRC

  • Qian YU

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


Research on fraud detection in accounting has long focused primarily on financial statement fraud and responsibilities of auditors and company management relating to such frauds. While tax fraud is also clearly significant, and tax professionals have responsibilities relating to fraud detection, little prior research has addressed this issue. The current research examines the impact of quantitative materiality, perceived responsibility (based on the triangle model of responsibility) and Machiavellianism on several aspects of tax professionals’ decision making regarding fraud detection and reporting.

I surveyed all tax professionals in the People’s Republic of China working for one of the Big 4 public accounting firms. The results indicate that, as anticipated, Machiavellianism had significant negative associations with tax professionals’ perceived responsibility to detect fraud, and high Machiavellians judged fraudulent actions to be less unethical and socially irresponsible. A composite measure of the triangle model of responsibility was positively associated with participants’ perceived professional obligation for fraud detection as well as the estimated likelihood of discovering and reporting fraud. In contrast, quantitative materiality was not associated with perceived responsibility for fraud detection, ethical judgments or the likelihood of detecting or reporting fraud.
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Accountancy
SupervisorRichard Stanley SIMMONS (Supervisor) & William Eugene SHAFER (Supervisor)

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