Lower-level auditors are likely to encounter client information that may reflect important audit issues. The audit team cannot address these issues unless they are communicated upward. However, research indicates that lower-level auditors sometimes withhold issues, threatening audit effectiveness. We use a multi-method grounded theory approach to expand our understanding of the factors associated with auditors’ decision to speak up about potential audit issues. We use an experiential questionnaire to draw out participants’ real-life experiences with the decision to speak up or remain silent in the field (i.e., the “voice” decision). We summarize this work in a framework of audit voice determinants and a theoretical model of audit voice. We then use the determinants framework and the developed theory to conduct an experiment as an exemplar for how our work can be useful in generating future research.

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