Reduced Audit Quality Behaviour in Government Audit

  • Firdaus Amyar

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this research is to examine reduced audit quality behaviour (RAQB) in the context of government audit practice that may remain unobservable. It is intended to explore how RAQB occurs behind the audit fieldwork curtain. This research seeks to construct a comprehensive understanding of the types of specific RAQBs that could be prevalent among government auditors, the probable reasons for these behaviours and also the audit organisation's responses to tackling such behaviour. This research discusses RAQB that may be viewed through the theoretical lens of paradox perspective. This study applies a qualitative research methodology using observation, interviews and review of documents. Observation was conducted in five audit teams performing
financial audit engagements in one Indonesian government audit organisation for a total of 26 days or 189 hours (an average of 7.3 hours per day). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 50 respondents consisting of 31 auditors and 19 non-auditors. The empirical data show that the auditors engaged in three types of RAQBs: (1) premature or false sign-off or a failure to fully complete all or some steps in an audit procedure, yet reporting the outcome as satisfactory, {2} superficial audit supervision and (3) sample reduction (performing a reduction of tested items in a predetermined sample). Using paradox theory as the theoretical lens, this study reveals that RAQB may be associated with three paradoxical conditions: the paradox of audit control, paradox of dynamic audit knowledge and paradox of audit team. By adapting the dynamic equilibrium model of Smith and Lewis (2011), the findings have provided the empirical evidence explaining that RAQB could be caused by paradoxical tensions within the organisation. Based on the overall findings, this study contributes to three areas of understanding: research in RAQB, auditing research more generally and also an extension of the discussion of paradox theory.
Date of AwardMay 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAlan Lowe (Supervisor), Margaret Woods (Supervisor) & Nunung Nurul Hidayah (Supervisor)


  • Paradox
  • Audit Control
  • Dynamic Audit Knowledge
  • Audit Team Dynamic

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