Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Gene Sullivan


Audit Evidence, Sufficient Appropriate Audit Evidence, Audit in Financial Sector, Bank Examinations, Securities Compliance Examination




The substratum of performing an effective and value-added audit engagement centers on the ability of qualified professionals to gather, assess and draw inferences from audit evidence independently. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) in the United States instruct auditors to design and implement audit procedures to gain relevant audit evidence to sustain the opinion conveyed in the auditor's report (AS 1105.03). This research examined the scope of audit evidence sufficiency and appropriateness in the United States banking and securities industries. The thesis aimed at enriching the existing body of knowledge on auditing in the target industries. Specifically, the thesis investigated the relationships between the sufficiency and appropriateness of audit evidence and six designated variables or elements: the quality of audit opinions, the source of audit evidence, management assertions, the reliability of audit evidence, internal control systems, and audit report quality. I used a quantitative approach to collect a variety of observations from crucial groups of professionals in the target industries. I collected responses from external auditors, bank examiners, and securities examiners through an internet-based survey. The responses related to respondents’ experiences and assessments of audit evidence and the designated study variables. I performed statistical assessments on the collected data to test designed hypotheses and establish whether they were supported by respondent data. Through the hypothesis tests, I determined that statistically significant relationships exist between audit evidence and the above-cited variables and developed recommendations for improvements to the general practice of business, potential application strategies, and implications for further study. A central recommendation is enhancing Auditing Standard (AS) 1301 Communications with Audit Committees to streamline the exchange of audit evidence data between external auditors and bank and securities examiners.

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