The Ethics of Professional Skepticism: A Study in Indonesia Supreme Audit Institution

Supeni Anggraeni Mapuasari


This research elaborated the influence of ethics to government’s external auditor professional skepticism. Ethics has been argued as one important variable affecting auditor professional skepticism. Components of ethics being tested in this research are moral reasoning and perceived importance of moral intent. Theory of cognitive dissonance was utilized to operationalize the hypothesis analysis of this research. The respondents of this research are auditors of Indonesian Supreme Audit Institution (SAI). Questionnaries were spread of in the SAI training institution and being analyzed with regression analysis  by SPSS. The result of this study found a positive relationship between moral reasoning and auditor professional skepticism. However, it failed to proof the relationship between moral intent and auditor professional skepticism. This result gives a practical and theoritical contribution to the development of auditor skepticism in public sector.


Full Text:



Arnold, D.and Ponemon, L. 1991. Internal Auditors’ Perception of Whistle-blowing and the Influence of Moral Reasoning; An Experiment. Auditing: A Journal of Theory and Practice,1-15.

Beasley, M.S., Carcello, J.V., and Hermanson, D.R. 2001. Top 10 Audit Deficiencies. A Journal of Accountancy,191 (4):63-66.

Beeler, J.D. and Hunton, J.E. 2002. Contingent Economic Rents: Insidious Threats to Audit Independence. Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research, 5:3-17.

Bernardi, R.A. 1994. Fraud Detection: The Effect of Client Integrity and Competence and Auditor Cognitive Style. Auditing: A Journal of Theory and Practice, 13 (supplement):68-84.

-Liburd, Hellen, L., Cohen, J.R., and Trompeter, G. 2013. Effect of Earning Forecasts and Heightened Professional Skepticism on the Outcomes of Client-Auditor Negotiation. Journal of Business Ethics, 116:311-325.

Bunge, M. 1991. A skeptic’s Beliefs and Disbeliefs. New Ideas in Psychology, 9 (2):131-149.

Cohen, J.R and Bennie, M. 2006. The Applicability of a Contingent Factors Model to accounting Ethic Research. Journal of Business Ethics, 68(1): 1-18.

Fogelin, R.J. 1994. Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification. Oxford University Press, New York.

Friedman, T. 2005. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar, Straus, and Giro ux, New York.

Ghozali, I. 2011. Aplikasi Analisis Multivariate dengan Progran IBM SPSS 19. Penerbit UNDIP, Semarang, Indonesia.

Grambling, A.A. 1999. External Auditors’ Reliance on Work Performed by Internal Auditors: The Influence of Fee Pressure on this Reliance Decision. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 18:117-135.

Hackenberk, K. 1992. Implications of Seemingly Irrelevant Evidence in Audit Judgment. A Journal of Accounting Research, 30:126-136.

Haines, R., Strect, M.D., and Haines, D. 2008. The Influence of Perceived Importance of an Ethical Issue on Moral Judgement, Moral Obligation, and Moral Intent. Journal of Business Ethics, 81:387-399.

Ho, Y.H., 2007. Undergraduate Accounting Students’ Perceptions of Accounting Ethics: A Cross Cultural Comparative Study. Dissertation, The University of Minnesota.

Houston, R.W.1999. The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time Budget Decision. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory,18:70-86.

Hurt, R.K. 2010. Development of a Scale to Measure Professional Skepticism. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory,29(1):149-171.

Jones, T.M. 1991. Ethical Decisions Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Isssu-Contingent Model. Accounting Management Review. 16:366-395.

Jones, Sand, Ponemon, L. 1993. A Comment on a Multidimensional of Selected Ethical Problems. Journal of Business Ethics, 15:1033-1050

Jones, J., Massey, D.W.,and Thorne, L. 2003. Auditors’ Ethical Reasoning: Insights from Past Research and Implications for Future Research. Journal of Accounting Literature, 22:45-103.

Kelley, P.C and Elm, D.R. 2003. The Effect of Context on Moral Intensity of Ethical Issues : Revising Jones Issue-Contingent Model. Journal of Business Ethics, 48(2):139-154.

Killian, L. M. 1957. When Propecy Fails by Leon Festinger; Henry W. Riecken; Stanley Schachter. American Sociological Review, 22 (2):236-237.

Kolhberg, L. 1969. Continuities and Discontinuities in Childhood and Adult Moral Development. Human Development, 12 (2): 93-120.

Kurtz, P. 1992. The New Skepticism: Inquiry and Reliable Knowledge. Buffalo, Prometheus Books, New York.

McMillan, J.Jand White, R.A. 1993. Auditors’ Belief Revision and Evidence Search: The Effect of Hypothesis Frame, Confirmation, and Professional Skepticism. The Accounting Review, 68 (3): 443-465.

McPhail, K. and Walters, D. 2008. Accounting and Busniess Ethics. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York.

Metzger, L.M. 2002. Integrity and the Government Accountant. Journal of Government Financial Management, 58-63.

Nelson, M. 2009. A Model and Literature Review of Professional Skepticism in Auditing. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 28(2), 1-34.

Northouse, P.G. 2004. Leadership Theory and Practices (Edisike 3). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nolder, C.J. 2012. The Role of Professional Skepticism, Attitudes, and Emotions on Auditor’s Judgements. Dissertation, The University of Minnesota .

Page, G.J. 2011. The Moral Reasoning of Government Accountants. Disertasi, Nova Southeastern University.

Pepitone, A. 1959. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance by Leon Festinger. Book review, The American Journal of Psychology, 72(1):153-155.

Peecer, M.E. 1996. The Influences of Auditor’s Justification Processes on Their Decisions: A Cognitive Model and Experimental Evidence. Journal of Accounting Research 34:125-140.

Ponemon, L. 1988. A Coginitive-development Approach to the Analysis of Certified Public Accountants’ Ethical Judgements. Dissertation, Onion College of Onion University.

Ponemon, L. 1993. The Influence of Ethical Reasoning on Auditor’s Perception of Management’s Integrity and Competence. Advances in Accounting 11: 1-23.

Rahman, T. 2012. Pengaruh Etika, Keahlian, Pengalaman Audit, Gender, dan Kompensasi Terhadap Skeptisme Profesional Auditor Pemerintah. Thesis, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Rest, J.R, Turiel, and Kohlberg, L. 1969. Level of Moral Judgement as A Determinant of Preference and Comprehension Made by Others. Journal of Personality, 37:225-252.

Rest.J.R. 1986. Moral Development: Advances in Research and Theory. Praiger Rest, New York.

Robinson, S.N. 2011. An Experimental Examination on the Effects of Goal Framing and Time Pressure on Auditors’ Professional Skepticism. Dissertation, University of North Texas.

Sitanala, T.F. 2010. Faktor-faktor yang Mempengaruhi Skeptisme Auditor. Thesis, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Sharp, D.J. (2006). Cases in Business Ethics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Thorne, L. 1998. The Role of Virtue on Accountants’ Ethical Decision Making. Research on Accounting Ethics 4:291-308.

_______. 2000. The Development of Two Measures to Assess Accountants’ Prescriptive and Deliberative Moral Reasoning. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 12:139-169.

Turner, C.W. (2001). Accountability Demands and the Auditor’s Evidence Search Strategy: The Influence of Reviewer Preferences and the Nature of the Responses (Belief vs Action). Journal of Accounting Research 39(3).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Mailing Address

Jl. Ki Hajar Dewantara, Kota Jababeka, Cikarang Baru, Bekasi 17550 - Indonesia

Mail Address


ISSN 2580-1791 (Print)

ISSN 2615-8051 (Online)

View My Stats




JAAF (Journal of Applied Accounting and Finance) is indexed in: