Cultural influences on judgments of professional accountants in auditor-client conflict resolution

Chris Patel*, Graeme L. Harrison, Jill L. McKinnon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examines cultural influences on professional judgments of Australian, Indian and Chinese Malaysian accountants in relation to auditor-client conflict resolution. The study draws on cultural characteristics of, and differences among, these societies to formulate hypotheses that Australian accountants are less likely to resolve audit conflicts by acceding to clients than Indian and Chinese Malaysian accountants, and are also less accepting of resolving audit conflicts in this way. Data are gathered through a survey questionnaire administered to samples of senior accountants from "big-six" (at the time of data collection) firms in Australia, India and Malaysia. The questionnaire comprised an auditor-client conflict scenario, and used both single-item and multidimensional [specifically, the Multidimensional Ethics Measure of Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990)] measures of professional judgment. The results support the hypotheses about differences in Australian compared to Indian and Chinese Malaysian professional judgments. Additionally, the results support the Multidimensional Ethics Measure as having greater explanatory power than a single-item measure. The results have implications for the international harmonisation of accounting and auditing standards, and for audit procedures and codes of conduct in international accounting firms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-31
    Number of pages31
    JournalJournal of International Financial Management and Accounting
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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