In the audit works, auditors have provided the best audit practices through audit professionalism by concerning themselves with auditing standards, regulations and rules in order to achieve audit performance. Audit professionalism explicitly reflects their audit expertise and audit specialization in the audit process. Hence, this study focuses on the roles of both audit expertise and audit specialization in the audit environments. In the existing literature, audit expertise is the possession of a large body of knowledge and procedural skills, including technical knowledge (amount of knowledge and knowledge structure), problem solving (problem representation, problem-solving strategies and information search) and decision quality (outcome-oriented criterion and process-oriented criterion) (Bedard and Chi, 1993). It reflects task-specific superior performance. Auditors with greater audit expertise tend to perform the best audit activities, functions and strategies through audit specialization. They are likely to gain audit performance and audit success. Audit expertise is thus hypothesized to become an antecedent of both audit specialization and audit performance in the audit jobs.
Audit specialization is proposed to act as a mediating role in explaining the relationships between audit expertise and audit performance. It is an ability of auditors to have a particular knowledge of industries by largely concentrated on training and experience (Romanus, Maher and Fleming, 2008). Auditors with more audit specialization seem to develop more extensive knowledge of an industry via a greater audit experience, detect greater errors when they perform audit tasks in their specialized industries, and have superior industry-specific knowledge allowing them to detect the misstatements of financial reports better, increase their efficiency, and enhance their assessment of the veracity of the clients' financial reports and estimates. They have attempted to perform the best audit practices in order to achieve audit quality, audit efficiency, audit effectiveness, audit performance, audit survival, and audit sustainability in the professional work environments. The effects of audit expertise on audit performance through audit specialization are outstandingly investigated.
The relationships among audit expertise, audit specialization and audit performance are clearly verified and are explicitly examined. This study aims at investigating the influences of audit expertise on audit performance of certified public accountants (CPAs) in Thailand through audit specialization as a mediator. Audit expertise is the independent variable, audit performance is the dependent variable, and audit specialization is the mediating variable of the study. The key research questions are: (1) How audit expertise has an effect on audit specialization, (2) How audit expertise has an impact on audit performance, (3) How audit specialization has an influence on audit performance, (4) Whether audit morality is a mediator of the aforementioned relationships, and (5) Whether the research relationships are positive.
This study is outlined as follows. Literature review of audit expertise, audit specialization and audit performance is addressed and examined; and significant research hypotheses developments are presented. Next, the research methods used to test the hypotheses are discussed including sample selection and data collection procedure, variables and methods. The results of the study derived from 113 certified public accountants (CPAs) in Thailand have indicated and their reasonable …