Kathryn Kadous is the Schaefer Chaired Professor of Accounting and the Director and Associate Dean of the Ph.D. Program at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. She earned a PhD from the University of Illinois. Prior to that, she worked as an auditor and controller. Professor Kadous' research considers judgment and decision-making issues in auditing and accounting. Her current research is focused primarily on using psychology theory to improve auditor decision making and on identifying the antecedents of auditor skepticism. Professor Kadous' research has been published in The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, The Journal of Behavioral Finance, and Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory.
Professor Kadous has served two terms as an editor for The Accounting Review and two terms as an editor for Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory. She serves on several editorial boards and has served on various research and publications related committees and tasks forces for the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the Auditing and Accounting, Behavior, and Organizations Sections of the AAA. She is currently Vice-President (Academic) of the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Creighton University: B.S.B.A., Accounting 1986
summa cum laude
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: M.A.S., Accountancy 1990
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Ph.D., Accountancy 1996
Media Appearances (2)
How Principles-Based Accounting Standards Impact Litigation
Law 360 online
Principles-based standards may have a dampening effect on the litigation outcomes. When the client engages with aggressive accounting, the flexibility of principles-based standards works in favor of auditors.
Exploring the scholarly inquiry of Kathryn Kadous
According to research from Kathryn Kadous, McIntyre term chair and professor of accounting at Goizueta, the accounting world has yet to deal with how auditors’ workflow and the unconscious biases that it produces impact their work. In a research paper titled “Auditor mindsets and audits of complex estimates,” Kadous and co-authors discovered that an unconscious bias—a lack of professional skepticism—inhibits auditors’ ability to spot problems in the financial statements.
To sign off on financial statements of public companies, top auditors gather information from the company itself, from multiple auditors working under them, and from outside specialists hired by the company and the auditing firm. Auditors use this information to determine whether estimates in corporate financial statements are reasonable, yet their conclusions can be wrong if they fail to question the sources of this information or fail to notice inconsistencies across information.
Kadous’s work centers on the psychological process of accounting and auditing work. “My research focuses on how auditors make judgments about the most complex accounts on financial statements—complex estimates,” she says. Estimates are required for important accounts on the financial statements, including investments and securities, goodwill, allowance for loan losses, intangibles, and more. “This part of the auditor’s job requires considerable judgment, and regulators and researchers, as well as auditors themselves, have been clear that auditors need help in this area,” she says.