Despite the considerable evidence suggesting multitasking reduces performance, multitasking is unavoidable and pervasive in the audit setting. Members of engagement teams are often required to work on multiple engagements simultaneously and their work on one engagement is frequently interrupted due to the demands of another engagement. In hopes of facilitating multitasking, engagement team communications have extended beyond face-to-face interactions to computer-mediated communication technologies. However, little is known about the performance of multitasking teams under these alternative modes of communication (face-to-face, discussion board, and chatroom). Our study demonstrates that, when multitasking, the performance of audit teams communicating face-to-face is greater than the performance of teams using computer-mediated communication. While we expected enhanced team performance with discussion boards, additional analyses reveal that participants’ familiarity with, and preference for, chatroom features (which are similar to texting) may have offset the benefits prior studies have attributed to discussion boards (which are similar to emailing).

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