Biased evidence processing by multidisciplinary greenhouse gas assurance teams

Sarah Kim, Wendy J. Green, Karla M. Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate how auditors respond to the discipline-specific expertise of team members in undertaking greenhouse gas (GHG) assurance. Assurors conduct these engagements using multidisciplinary teams containing varying technical expertise, with some possessing financial audit-related expertise (‘‘traditional auditors’’) and others possessing science- or combined science/financial-related expertise. In an experiment in which traditional auditor participants respond to a simulated multidisciplinary team, we find that participants inappropriately rely on an explanation for an unexpected analytical procedures fluctuation from a senior-level assuror with GHG sciencerelated expertise, irrespective of whether the situation requires that expertise. We also examine whether the review process might provide a solution to this inappropriate reliance, and report nuanced results. That is, we find that while inappropriate reliance on the senior-level assuror with science-related expertise is reduced by having a managerlevel reviewer with financial audit-related expertise, inappropriate reliance is even greater when the manager-level reviewer possesses GHG science-related or combined science/financial expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-139
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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