The level of assurance precision and associated cost demanded when providing continuous online assurance in an environment open to assurance competition


This study uses experimental market and laboratory experiment methodologies to consider the impact of COA precision and associated cost on its demand over extended multi-period timeframes in repetitive decision-making environments open to competition. Results show that more precise COA is demanded both more in amount and consistency over time, including when priced at a slight premium. More precise COA demand is also highly sensitive to pricing and declines dramatically when its price is increased slightly. Discounted less precise COA demand is not sensitive to premium-pricing of higher quality COA. Exit responses validate the experimental behavior captured. Results indicate that COA should be developed as a higher quality service to internal decision-makers, especially considering specific requirements of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. High quality COA providers should be aware that premium pricing substantially above that of competing lower quality COA will likely eliminate demand for high quality COA and substantially reduce total COA demand.


School of Accountancy

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continuous online assurance, continuous auditing, assurance quality, assurance precision

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