We are excited to deliver the Fall 2021 issue of Current Issues in Auditing. In keeping with CIIA's objective of “advancing the dialogue between academics and practitioners on current issues facing the auditing practice community,” this issue includes articles describing studies that:

  • Investigate questions important to practice (Convery and Levine. 2021. Do the Benefits of Small Issuer SOX 404(b) Exemptions Outweigh the Costs?)

  • Highlight the relevance to practice of previously published academic studies (De Meyst, Lowe, Peecher, Pickerd, and Reffett. 2021. Factors Affecting the Outcomes of Legal Claims against Auditors.)

  • Provide evidence-based commentaries on proposed auditing standards (Schaefer, Brown, Ege, Harding, Hermanson, Higgs, Jenkins, and Smith. 2021. Comments on Discussion Paper: Fraud and Going Concern in an Audit of Financial Statements: Exploring the Differences between Public Perceptions about the Role of the Auditor and the Auditor's Responsibilities in a Financial Statement Audit.)

  • Help academics and practitioners to understand the existing knowledge base covering important topics to facilitate future studies (Hartmann and Carmenate. 2021. Academic Research on the Role of Corporate Governance and IT Expertise in Addressing Cybersecurity Breaches: Implications for Practice, Policy, and Research.)

In terms of topics, published articles also include those that are among the most important of the day including:

  • Cybersecurity (Kelton. 2021. How to Reduce the Cybersecurity Breach Contagion Effect.)

  • Cryptocurrency (Sheldon. 2021. Preparing Auditors for the Blockchain Oracle Problem.)

  • Diversity (Davis, Dickins, Higgs, and Reid. 2021. Auditing While Black: Revealing Microaggressions Faced by Black Professionals in Public Accounting.)

We believe that collaboration between the academy and practice is mutually beneficial. To have impact, research questions must be relevant to practice and investigations must be grounded in reality. Academics should understand both how auditing processes and practices should be conducted, and how real-world frictions impact how auditing processes and practices are conducted. Engaging with practitioners on research design can improve the validity, reliability, and generalizability of auditing research.

Furthermore, high-quality auditing research can improve practitioners' and regulators' decision making. Collaboration increases practitioners' awareness of academic studies. It can help to identify gaps in rules and regulations. It can also increase the likelihood that practitioners and regulators will seek out additional investigations.

Over the last year, we have tried to do our part to increase collaboration between academics and practitioners. Specifically, we added ten partner-level auditing or auditing-related practitioners to CIIA's editorial board. To increase the likelihood that we are publishing research relevant to the auditing community, we adopted a practice of having the title and abstract of all submissions read by at least one audit partner prior to advancing the submission to the formal review process. To the extent appropriate and possible, reviewer teams include both an academic and a practitioner. We issued a Call for Papers encouraging academic-practice research collaborations. The Spring 2022 issue of CIIA will include a Forum section of these studies. In various AAA Auditing Section newsletters and reports, we encouraged studies that investigate new technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics, videoconferencing) used by companies, independent auditors, internal auditors, and fraud investigators, as practitioners tell us these are of particular interest. Finally, we began actively promoting recently published articles to the top audit and audit-related firms in the hope that they will broadly distribute links to CIIA articles and issues.

We extend our appreciation to the authors who have given us the privilege of considering their work, the editorial board members and ad hoc reviewers who have diligently and timely performed reviews and made recommendations helpful to authors and aided the editorial decision-making process, and to the practitioners who support the accounting academy by participating in our studies and reading the results of our efforts.

Author notes

We are grateful to Dana R. Hermanson (guest editor), and to Peyton Fultz (managing editor) for her helpful direction, timely assistance, and patience.

Denise Dickins, East Carolina University, College of Business, Department of Accounting, Greenville, NC, USA; Keith Urtel, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, Department of Accounting, Notre Dame, IN, USA.