University of Richmond Accounting Professor Receives Award From Prominent Advocacy Group for Research Detecting Fraud

June 24, 2020

Austin inlineUNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Accounting professor Ashley Austin has received a grant from the Center for Audit Quality for her research project on detecting fraud during the audit process.

Austin’s project, Detecting Fraud: A Proactive Approach to Improving Auditors’ Attention to Fraud During Audit Testing, will examine whether features of the traditional audit process can have unintended consequences when it comes to fraud.

“Many audit tests are designed to detect errors rather than fraud, so it is important that auditors stay alert for fraud while performing audit tests, but maintaining this attention to fraud during a busy audit can be difficult,” said Austin. “My research will both examine attention-decreasing factors that make auditors less likely to detect fraud and investigate a theory-based intervention to improve fraud detection."

The Center for Audit Quality, a nonprofit public policy advocacy organization, is facilitating Austin’s access to audit professionals as participants in her research experiment. Part of Austin’s research will include having senior auditors complete an audit procedure seeded with subtle fraud cues in order to measure the auditors’ attention to fraud and fraud detection actions.

Austin has taught at the University of Richmond since 2016. She is a licensed CPA and has worked as a senior associate in the audit practice.