Workshop Series: Carlin Dowling

19 March, 2010 - 10:30 to 12:00
ICTE Terrace Room, Level 6, Sir Llew Edwards Building, St Lucia campus

Audit support systems are developed and deployed across a firm's global network. Auditors use these systems to plan, conduct and review engagements. The proprietary audit support systems used in practice differ in the extent to which they enforce structure and control the audit process. These differences provide unique insights into cross-sectional variation in the production of audit services. Using audit fee data from 5,828 engagements from 21 countries, we investigate the association between audit pricing and the extent of structure embedded in audit support systems. After controlling for client factors known to determine audit fees, we find firms using a more structured audit support system price audits lower. However, this association is moderated by industry. Audit firms with a more structured audit support system leverage this to price their audits lower in industries that require greater generic audit knowledge relative to industry specific knowledge. This study provides insight into how different forms of audit support system design enable audit firms to differentiate their audit services across industries that vary in their demand for specialist auditor knowledge.

Carlin Dowling, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne

Carlin Dowling is an Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting and Business Information Systems at The University of Melbourne. Carlin's research interests are in the use and consequents of information technology within the audit process and operational risk. Her research is currently funded by an ARC linkage grant.

In 2007, Carlin was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the Information Systems Section of the American Accounting Association. Her research has been published in referred journals, including The Accounting Review, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research, Accounting Education: An International Journal and Australian Accounting Review, and has been presented at numerous local and international conferences.

Carlin serves on the editorial board of International Journal of Accounting Information Systems and Accounting Perspectives, and also serves as an adhoc reviewer for several journals and conferences, including the Journal of Information Systems, Behavioral Research in Accounting, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, the AAA mid year and annual meetings and is on the technical review committee for the annual AFAANZ conference.

Carlin is currently serving as the secretary of the Information Systems Section of the American Accounting Association and is Chair of the Outstanding Dissertation Award Committee for the Strategic and Emerging Technologies Section of the American Accounting Association.