The Prediction of Professional Skepticism Components Based on the Big Five Personality Traits of Auditing Partners

Document Type : Original Research


Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Professional skepticism is an integral part of successful auditing. The trait of professional skepticism has been identified in psychological research as an enduring personality trait. This study aimed to investigate the prediction of professional skepticism components based on the Big Five personality traits of auditing partners of the Iranian Association of Certified Public Accountants (IACPA). To that end, the participants consisted of 231 male auditing partners. Our research results suggest that personality traits, including extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience, positively predict the professional skepticism components, including a search for knowledge, self-esteem, interpersonal understanding, autonomy, and a questioning mind. Neuroticism negatively predicts the professional skepticism components mentioned. Also, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience negatively predict suspension of judgment. Neuroticism positively predicts the suspension of judgment. These findings can aid audit firms in the recruitment procedure of auditors and assist accounting and auditing educators in guiding students in their career tracks.


Main Subjects


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