Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business

First Advisor

Paul Shelton, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janell Blunt, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Tucker, Ph.D.


The accounting profession in the United States continues to reflect a gap in racial diversity, with the majority of accountants being white. Implicit racial bias results in discrimination in the U.S. today, specifically against Black individuals. Within accounting, the auditing specialty requires exercising professional judgment that could present opportunities for implicit racial bias to affect the financial statements. This study aims to fill gaps in the existing research by answering the following questions: 1) How does the race of the CFO affect the accounting judgments of auditors? 2) How does intergroup contact with Black individuals impact auditors’ accounting judgments when working with a Black CFO? The participants included individuals in the U.S. who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, the majority of whom were CPAs with auditing experience. Participants completed a computerized experiment, responded to a short questionnaire, and answered manipulation, attention-check, and demographic questions. Data for the first hypothesis, based on the first research question, was analyzed using an independent sample t-test. H1 was not supported. H2, analyzed using both Pearson and Spearman correlations, was also not supported. Supplemental analysis was conducted based on additional demographic data collected for the sample using multiple two-way ANOVAs. Post-hoc analysis using Scheffé post-hoc criterion for significance indicated a potential difference in the write-down amounts for non-Hispanic/Latino white participants compared to both Hispanic/Latino participants and participants of two or more races. Similar analysis indicated a potential difference in the write- down amounts for participants who spent their childhood in the Midwest compared to those who did not provide the location where they spent their childhood. While the study results do not provide support for the effect of Black- or white-sounding name or impact of intergroup contact on auditor judgments, the study was limited by a number of factors that may have impacted the results. Future research should continue to explore the presence and impacts of implicit bias generally, and implicit racial bias specifically, in the auditing field.

Included in

Accounting Commons