On-site Inaugural lecture Prof. dr. Jere Francis
Appointed professor Accounting & Information Management
"Going Big, Going Small, Strategies for Researching Audit Quality"
This Inaugural Lecture updates how audit research has evolved since the summary in Francis (1994), and describes my journey from “going big” and asking basic questions about the audit market, to “going small” with a focus on smaller units of analysis (offices, partners, and engagement teams) as the key to understanding audit quality. I started my career as an applied economist using publicly available data to study basic questions about the demand for and supply of quality-differentiated audits. Now I see myself as more of a management scientist, moving inside the organization to understand the consequences for audit quality, arising from the internal culture of an audit firm, the personal characteristics of the people who work in audit firms, and the behaviors within the partner-led engagement teams that result in high-quality audit outcomes. I thank the Foundation for Auditing Research for facilitating my research into the organizational drivers of high-quality audits.