An Investigation of the Relationship between Two Dimensions of Presumptive Doubt and Professional Skepticism With Professional Judgment of an Auditor

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Prof., Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Professional skepticism is among the most significant concepts of auditing. This is due to the fact that the mentioned concept has a profound impact on audit judgment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between professional skepticism (including neutrality and presumptive doubt dimensions) and the auditors' skeptical judgment. To achieve the purpose of the study, 97 auditors working in auditing institutes as certified public accountants were interviewed. This was conducted employing two quasi-laboratory scenarios that mainly take from Quadackers et al. (2014). The result showed that in a high-risk control environment, the relationship between "neutrality and skeptical judgment" is stronger than the relationship between "presumptive doubt and skeptical judgment". Moreover, the relationship between "neutrality and skeptical judgment" is intensified in a high-risk control environment. However, there is no major difference in the intensity of the relationship between" presumptive doubt and skeptical judgment" in a high and low-risk control environment. Overall, the above-mentioned findings provide empirical evidence for supporting the present viewpoint on auditing standards based on the preference of "neutrality dimension" over "presumptive doubt dimension".


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