Impact of Auditor Intelligence Quotient on Audit Quality

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.


Objective: Previous studies have proved the significant role of cognitive characteristics and personality traits in making judgments and decisions. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the impact of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of auditors, as a cognitive characteristic, on their audit quality.
Methods: In this study, in order to investigate and analyze the hypothesis, the data related to the IQ of 41 Certified Public Accountants (CPA) of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) were extracted. These accountants were the first signatories of the audit report of 204 companies listed on the body in the fiscal year of 1398 (started on March 21, 2018). To collect the required data about the IQ variable (the questionnaire), the Raven`s Progressive Matrices (RPM) test was used. To assess the other variable, i.e. the quality of the audit, the type of auditors’ reports were used as a benchmark. Logistic Regression was also used to test the study hypothesis.
Results: After conducting the statistical analysis and estimating the Logistic Regression, the positive and significant impact of the IQ of the auditors on the quality of the audit was confirmed, regarding the coefficient of the independent variable, i.e. IQ, which stood at 1998/0. Also, the coefficient of determination (R²), which is the same as the McFadden R-squared, stood at 0.163, proving that 16% of the changes in the dependent variable could be explained by the independent logistic Regression variable.
Conclusion: According to the findings o the present study, the auditors’ IQ as a cognitive characteristic and personality trait has a positive effect on their decision-making and judgments throughout the entire audit process. The obtained results suggest that the auditors’ IQ bears a significant and direct relationship with the quality of the audit. It can be concluded that the higher the auditors’ IQ is, the higher the quality of the audit would be; therefore, auditors with higher IQ levels, make better judgments with higher audit quality. Accordingly, IQ as one of the cognitive abilities of auditors has an important role in decision-making during the audit process and in improving the audit quality. This study showed that despite various mechanisms aimed at standardizing audit quality, the auditors’ intellectual ability is still important for the quality of audit services provided to the clients. These findings may be interesting to those who decide on mechanisms to control and regulate the quality of audit services. This study showed that the cognitive characteristics of the auditors, as a unit of analysis, play an effective role in audit quality.


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