The business environment is highly competitive and more varieties, complexity in business activities. However, executives will operate them to success for survival and growth into future. Learning is an important complicate resource of the firm creating competitive advantage (Sari, Mardisar and Anugeran, 2007). Increasing of audit learning is
a high expectation from executive's requirement as a high quality accounting outcome and audit success and the serious factors effects stakeholder creditability in Tax auditors' performance (Obaidat, 2007). Thus, most of Tax auditors have attempted to identify by learning and performing auditing process to reasonable opinion regarding the financial statements audited (AICPA, 2006).
Nowadays, auditing and accounting professional education programs also placed increasing emphasize on the profession auditors to ensure that they keep abreast of the latest ideas and techniques in auditing and accounting (Mansouri et al., 2009). At the same time, more complex valuation affirmation began to induce in financial statements that reflected audited entities' business risks and these trends continue. Also, they are supported by a highest demand for greater protection from financial statement fraud (Bell et al., 1997). In other words "the audit should be performed and report prepared with due professional care by persons who are sufficient for training, experience and competence in auditing by audit professional learning". Consistent with Gul et al. (1994) who state that auditors are expected by third parties to have academic training in accounting, taxation, auditing, and other areas related to their profession. Additionally, International Education Standard 8 argues that capabilities of auditors are combination of underlying professional knowledge; professional experience and professional learning affect audit practice (Wangcharoencate and Ussahawanitchakit, 2009).
For enhancing accounting outcome and audit success in auditing, Tax auditors employ a variety of methods in their tasks that would be for gathering sufficient and appropriate audit evidences concerning financial statement assertion in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (Church, Davis and McCracken, 2008). Thus, audit professional learning has been attached into auditing for best audit practices in an attempt to increase on accounting information advantage and usefulness to decision making (Hui and Fatt, 2007). The creditability of stakeholders can be affected by the financial reporting reliability as a responsibility of Tax auditors in order to achieve the goal of audit performance. Therefore, professional learning that needs important process for living not only for accounting program but also for other program that must take precedence to continue providing learning because it can help to fulfill and develop the defect that leading to increasing performance (Wangcharoendate and Ussahawanitchakit, 2010). Besides, individual learning as new knowledge or insights has the potential to influence learning behavior which inhibits the ability to perceive, acquires and utilizes new knowledge to enhance individual performance.
A key concept audit professional learning is a fit between the objectives and action including the allocation of the firm's resources. Previous auditing researches show that the variety of elements has an impact on audit performance including ability to use standard and core principle for audit work (Howieson, 2009), communication and relationship between auditor and client (Hilton and Souhgate, 2007; Dorotta and others, 2006), knowledge and skill of audit techniques, and audit professional learning (Leung and Trotman, 2005). Nevertheless, this study proposes that the audit professional learning is the element of audit performance. Dimensions of audit professional learning are holistic knowledge integration, audit tactic intellectual, innovation learning mindset and proactive audit learning strategy. Moreover, audit performance refers to audit quality, and audit success. Audit quality is defined as the probability that an auditor will both discover and report and error in a client's accounting system by correctly audit process and trustworthiness of financial reporting useful for decision making. In addition, audit success refers to stakeholder creditability and client perceived value for audit work.
Most of Tax auditors have collect unique capabilities that provide the basic for audit professional learning. Additionally, the 21st century has hyper competition in professional auditing. The significant difference in audit outcome is driven primarily by capabilities of tax auditors. Therefore, audit professional learning of Tax auditor become stronger making them more difficult for competitors to imitate. This study examines the audit professional learning of Tax auditors in Thailand. The reason is that Tax auditors must provide a differentiated service by providing a greater value proposition to their clients in order to gain client satisfaction. And each of Tax auditors must to planning and performing to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence so that audit risk will be limited to a low level that professional judgment in financial reporting, provided usefulness of information to decision making by stakeholders such as investors and creditors. Thus, in this relationship is needed to be investigated; hence, the specific research questions are (1) how do accounting information advantage, financial reporting reliability, decision making success, and stakeholder creditability mediate the relationship among audit professional learning and audit performance?, (2) how do accounting information advantage, financial reporting reliability and decision making success have an effect on stakeholders creditability?, (3) how do accounting information advantage and decision making success effect on financial reporting reliability?, (4) how does the stakeholder creditability have an effect on audit performance?, (5) how do the antecedents (continual professional training, audit technological attentions and audit process improvement) have an effect on audit professional learning?, (5) how does audit environment change moderate the relationship among antecedents and audit professional learning?, and (6) how does professional regulation moderate the relationship among audit professional learning and mediating?
The main objectives of this study are as follows: (1) to empirically examine the relationships between audit professional learning and audit performance, (2) to examine the mediating effects of accounting information advantage, financial reporting reliability, decision making success and stakeholder creditability on the audit professional learning-audit performance relationships; specially (3) to investigate the association between accounting information advantage and decision making success on financial reporting reliability, (4) to explore the relationships among three antecedents: continual professional training, audit technological attentions, and audit process improvement on audit professional learning. Moreover (5) to scrutinize the relationships between audit professional learning and consequences by using professional regulation as a moderator and using audit environment change as a moderator between antecedents and audit professional learning relationships.
The previous literature on learning increasingly focuses on auditing literature because learning contributes to auditors insight awareness and more meaningful understanding in best audit practice. This study integrates many theoretical perspectives to support how audit professional learning affects audit performance; this study applies social cognitive theory and contingency theory to explain conceptual framework.
Social cognitive theory emphasizes on behavior not only through our own experiences (what we act) but also by watching others (what we learn) depending on many factors (Nelson, 2009). Moreover, the concept of self-efficacy in a variety of contexts focuses on the importance of observing behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. So, this theory explains both cognitive and behavioral framework to environmental influences as follows: people can learn by outcomes of those behaviors; learning may or may not result in a behavior change; the reason for people to learn through observation alone may not enough for quality; awareness and expectations from learning and use learning as the bridge association between behaviorists learning theories and cognitive learning theories (Bandura, 1977). In this study, social cognitive learning theory will be applied to explain the relationship among audit professional learning on accounting information advantage, financial reporting reliability, decision making success, stakeholder creditability, and audit performance. The assumption is that an Tax auditor who gains audit professional learning may lead to overall audit task well done and completely.
Secondly, in this study, contingency theory is applied to explain the moderating effects of audit environment change, and professional regulation in the audit professional learning and audit performance. Audit environment change and professional regulation are viewed as the exogenous or environmental factors in auditing affecting an Tax auditor's individual learning, as well as, professional regulation which tends to enhance the audit professional learning-accounting outcome relationships.
LITERATURE REVIEW AND HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT
According to the theoretical foundation, audit professional learning and audit performance are independent and dependent variables of the research respectively. According accounting information advantage, financial reporting reliability, decision making success and stakeholder creditability are the mediating effects of the research. Individual...
Audit professional learning, accounting outcome: effects on stakeholder creditability and audit performance of tax auditors in Thailand.
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