IQ and Audit Quality: Do Smarter Auditors Deliver Better Audits?

Jenni Kallunki, Juha Pekka Kallunki, Lasse Niemi*, Henrik Nilsson, Daniel Aobdia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study examines the role of an individual auditor's cognitive ability in delivering high-quality audits. Our results from analyzing archival data from Sweden show that audit partners' IQ scores obtained from psychological tests are positively associated with going-concern audit reporting accuracy and audit fee premiums. We also find some, albeit weak, evidence that audit partners' IQ scores are negatively associated with the income-increasing abnormal accruals of the client. These results suggest that, although audit services are standardized through various control mechanisms and audits are conducted by teams rather than by individual auditors, the cognitive ability of audit partners responsible for an audit remains important in delivering high-quality audit services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1416
Number of pages44
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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