Reflective capacity, auditors and professional scepticism: an empirical analysis

Thumbnail Image
O'Sullivan Rochford, Claire P. R.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Professional scepticism (PS) can be described as an ability to question and critically assess evidence. The literature provides an established measure for trait scepticism but recognises a state component. A comprehensive measure encompassing both is timely. The study posits that including a capacity for Reflection is the key to unlocking state scepticism, thereby establishing a new Reflective Scepticism Scale (RSS), combining trait and state components. In addition, the study examines experience as a determinant of PS and contributes to this ongoing debate within the literature. Data is gathered from a survey of 392 professional Irish auditors, of all career grades from trainee to partner, to include all the largest audit firms. The new comprehensive RSS is designed and tested using Factor Analysis, while experience as a determinant of PS is assessed through a series of regression analyses. Clear evidence is provided that PS increases with experience and confirms that PS changes throughout an auditor’s career, which has implications for recruitment, training and regulation.
Auditors , Reflection , Reflective capacity , Professional scepticism
O'Sullivan Rochford, C. P. R. 2020. Reflective capacity, auditors and professional scepticism: an empirical analysis. Title. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.