An analysis of Hong Kong auditors' perceptions of the importance of selected red flag factors in risk assessment

Abdul Majid, Ferdinand A. Gul, Judy S.L. Tsui

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined auditors' perceptions of the relative level of risk of fraud and material irregularities associated with the presence of six red flag factors and also evaluated the quality of auditors' judgements. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, subjects were asked to rank the importance of 15 factors that proxy the existence of material misstatements. Based on the responses to this questionnaire, 6 of the most important factors were identified and included in the second stage, a lens model experiment. In the lens model experiment, 30 experienced auditors from a cross-section of Big 6 firms were used as subjects in a repeated-measures ANOVA design. Results showed that misstatements in prior audits and indicators of going-concern problems were perceived to be the most significant factors in alerting auditors to the risk of fraud and material irregularities. In making these judgements, auditors demonstrated a relatively high level of consensus and consistency. However, the two most important factors in the lens model experiment are not the same as the results of the first survey suggesting that the first group of respondents, faced with a simple questionnaire, used heuristics in their decision making. The results have implications for audit practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditors' perception
  • Red flag factors
  • Risk assessment

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