Auditors frequently gather information by conducting client inquiries. During these inquiries, auditors should be alert to verbal and nonverbal cues emanating from members of client personnel that might be indicative of deception. Extant literature on deception suggests that the general practice of using a single auditor to conduct client inquiries may limit the ability of auditors to detect deception. Using Master's-level accounting students as a proxy for entry-level auditors, I examine how the use of one or two auditors affects the behavioral cues (nervousness and discussion) of client personnel that may indicate deception during inquiries, and whether two auditors are more likely to act upon deceptive cues than a single auditor (as measured by subsequent audit judgments). Results of a path analysis suggest that deceptive behavioral cues are more apparent in the presence of two auditors, and that two auditors are more likely than a single auditor to successfully incorporate behavioral cues into subsequent auditor judgments. This paper contributes to prior literature on client inquiries and interpersonal deception theory.
Data Availability: Data used in this study are available from the author upon request.