An Examination of the Effects of Experience and Task Complexity on Audit Judgments



Behavioral researchers have long been concerned with the effects of experience on decision making, especially in such highly technical field such as auditing. This paper investigates effects of experience on task complexity by relying on simon,s model of the decision process, As this paper provides evidence that the experience effect is significant when task complexity is explicitly considered. It reports the results of a series of experiments examining structured, semi-structured, and unstructured task in that subjects are pooled into two groups: "experienced" (Certificated Public Accountant in audit organization) and "inexperienced" (lower staff level and less experienced auditors in the audit organization). Responses to a separate study of 46 partners and managers were used to independently establish the appropriate staff level for structured, semi-structured, and unstructured tasks and complexity. These results suggest that significant decision differences exists between the experimental groups on each task and less experienced junior auditors are questionable surrogates for CPAs in unstructured tasks especially.