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W. Robert Knechel - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

W. Robert Knechel W. Robert Knechel

Frederick E. Fisher Eminent Scholar; Director, International Accounting and Auditing Center | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

W. Robert Knechel is an international accounting auditing expert, as well as a financial reporting expert.


Knechel is an international accounting auditing expert, as well as a financial reporting expert.

Industry Expertise (3)

Financial Services

Business Services


Areas of Expertise (6)

Issues Related to Assurance, Control, Performance Measurement and Auditing

Factors Affecting the Scope and Timing of Audit Engagements

Financial Reporting




Media Appearances (2)

Public interest does not always come first in auditing

Accountant.nl (Dutch)  online


Among the international celebrities were Mark DeFond (University of Southern California) and W. Robert Knechel (director of the International Accounting and Auditing Center, Warrington College of Business at University of Florida). At the start of the conference, DeFond elaborated on the theme: controversies surrounding audit quality. Knechel was the moderator of a discussion entitled The vision for change of the auditing profession .

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Accounting World, Still Resisting Sunlight

The New York Times  online


Such identification of auditors has been going on for many years in Sweden, where nearly all companies, private and public, are required to disclose their audits. That enabled three academics — W. Robert Knechel of the University of Florida, Ann Vanstraelen of Maastricht University and Mikko Zerni of the University of Vaasa — to study audits of different companies done by the same partners of the Swedish affiliates of the Big Four firms.

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Articles (5)

How do audit team industry and client‐specific experience impact audit effort and audit fees?

International Journal of Auditing

Christine Contessotto, W Robert Knechel, Robyn Moroney

2021 Prior research into the effect of different types of experience on audit fees and audit effort has been primarily conducted at the individual, office or firm level but rarely at the team level. An important motivation for team level research is that within team variation could influence the conduct, quality and pricing of an audit. Audit team industry specialization and client‐specific experience have been associated with higher audit quality. We extend this research by investigating the effect of audit team industry experience and client‐specific experience on audit production hours (effort) and fees. Using proprietary team‐level data provided by two Australian mid‐tier firms, we find that audit team client‐specific experience is associated with higher effort and fees. Although team‐level industry experience is not associated with effort or fees, it is associated with the use of lower ranked auditors. Our results suggest that audit teams with client-specific experience incur additional effort, perhaps due to the provision of value-added services.

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The Future of Assurance in Capital Markets: Reclaiming the Economic Imperative of the Auditing Profession

Accounting Horizons

W Robert Knechel

2021 Efficient capital markets rely on a continuous supply of reliable, timely, and audited information. The economic value of an audit derives from the reduction in risk of erroneous or manipulated information. Traditionally, the auditing has focused on annual financial reports. Given the speed of information creation and dissemination, the role of auditors may need to adapt. There are three areas in which auditors might help improve information quality: (1) non-GAAP earnings; (2) ESG reporting; and (3) cybersecurity risks disclosures. To provide assurance over these types of information, audit firms need to identify the appropriate subject matter for assurance, obtain expertise to provide assurance, develop a verification process, and commit to a system of organizational support. Multidisciplinary practices have the potential to provide many types of expanded assurance. However, success is not inevitable, and market, social, and regulatory forces will have much to say about the emergence of new assurance initiatives.

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Do Personal Beliefs and Values Affect an Individual’s “Fraud Tolerance”? Evidence from the World Values Survey

Journal of Business Ethics

W Robert Knechel, Natalia Mintchik

2021 We introduce the concept of fraud tolerance, validate the conceptualization using prior studies in economics and criminology as well as our own independent tests, and explore the relationship of fraud tolerance with numerous cultural attributes using data from the World Values Survey. Applying partial least squares path modeling, we find that people with stronger self-enhancing (self-transcending) values exhibit higher (lower) fraud tolerance. Further, respondents who believe in the importance of hard work exhibit lower fraud tolerance, and such beliefs mediate the relationship between locus of control and fraud tolerance. Finally, we find that people prone to traditional gender stereotypes demonstrate higher fraud tolerance and document subtle differences in the influence of these cultural attributes across age, religiosity, and gender groups. Our study contributes to research on corporate governance, ethics, and the antecedents of work-place dishonesty.

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The Impact of Partners' Economic Incentives on Audit Quality in Big 4 Partnerships

The Accounting Review

Simon Dekeyser, Ann Gaeremynck, W Robert Knechel, Marleen Willekens

2021 Economic incentives are fundamental for understanding auditor behavior. In this paper, we investigate the association between the extent of partners' fee-based compensation, partners' observable net wealth, and audit quality. Using a sample of Belgian Big 4 audit firms and their predominantly private clients, our results suggest a negative association between audit quality and partner fee-based compensation, and a positive association between audit quality and partner observable net wealth. Moreover, our results show that the latter association is most significant when a partner is carrying a lot of debt, which indicates that a partner's financial situation may affect audit quality. The extent of fee-based incentives also varies among partners of the same audit firm. Furthermore, partner and client characteristics differ based on the extent of fee-based compensation. Our findings should be of interest to regulators and audit firms as they suggest that audit partner's economic incentives significantly affect audit quality.

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Supplemental datasets for examination of the PCAOB's relationship with the audit profession in the United States

Data in Brief

Matthew Ege, W Robert Knechel, Phillip T Lamoreaux, Eldar Maksymov

2020 These datasets have been co-submitted to this journal with the research article “A multi-method analysis of the PCAOB's relationship with the audit profession” [1]. The purpose of these datasets is to assist readers of the research article in obtaining further details on two analyses performed therein: a deviant case analysis of the interview data (enclosed here as Dataset 1) and content analysis of disagreement-report pairs (enclosed here as Dataset 2). These datasets could also inform future research into audit regulation by serving as a starting point in developing research ideas or as a context to settings chosen by the researchers for examination. We developed Dataset 1 by examining interviews of eight PCAOB inspectors and six audit partners who were involved in early interactions between the largest firms and the PCAOB for elements of the data that are inconsistent with the explanations and results in the research article. We developed Dataset 2 by identifying audit firm response letters during the period of 2004-2012 where there are one or more instances of explicit disagreement with the PCAOB's inspection results within the response letter. We identified 15 such audit firm response letters and paired them with the subsequent inspection report based on an inspection that started after the audit firm response letter date. We then examined the content of disagreements and the subsequent deficiencies and highlighted issues in these subsequent reports that appear like disagreements.

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Professor. W. Robert Knechel


Languages (1)

  • English