Where are you from and how did you end up joining the faculty at the Gatton College?
I grew up in Colorado, graduated with a master’s in accounting from Colorado State University, and then worked as a financial statement auditor at an international public accounting firm (KPMG) in Denver. After my time in public accounting, I attended the University of Alabama to pursue my PhD in accounting (Roll Tide!). Once I completed my PhD at Alabama, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Gatton faculty. I jumped at the opportunity because I knew that the Von Allmen School of Accountancy at Gatton would be a great fit for me professionally, and that Lexington would be an amazing place for me and my family to live.
Tell us about your research interests. What are you working on now?
In my research I use psychological theory and experiments to better understand the judgment and decision-making of auditors. Much of my research investigates how and when auditors respond to management’s aggressive accounting and business decisions. Recently, I have also begun to explore how the use of artificial intelligence impacts auditor judgments.
Has your academic work influenced industry practices or policies? Is there an example you’d like to share?
Last fall, I presented some of my research to the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in Washington, D.C. The PCAOB is the governing body responsible for creating and enforcing audit standards in the United States. The auditing profession is investing billions of dollars to develop and implement AI systems, but the research I presented demonstrates that auditors rely less on the same audit evidence when they believe it comes from an AI system instead of a human specialist. I believe that these findings will help regulators and public accounting firms to consider the behavioral consequences of implementing AI systems in accounting and auditing contexts.
What do you enjoy most about being a faculty member at the Gatton College?
It’s clear that the Gatton college values the research being conducted by faculty and is willing to support it in every way possible. That support has allowed me to engage in research that is interesting and impactful, and has allowed me to share my findings across the globe.
What technological innovation would you love to see in your lifetime?
I’d love to see fully self-driving electric cars. This technology already exists to some extent, but large-scale adoption could be real game changer.
Do you have any collections?
I have a small collection of bourbons…this is Kentucky after all.