Assurance Research Advisory Group (ARAG)


The Assurance Research Advisory Group (ARAG), comprised of representatives from academia and public practice, funds research projects addressing private company1 assurance topics that are of interest to practitioners. Accounting educators who submit an approved research proposal are eligible for up to $15,000 in funding and, where applicable, access to peer reviewers and firm personnel or anonymized firm data provided by the AICPA Peer Review Program with firm consent. The research proposals funded by the AICPA will provide the profession with valuable insight into the factors that affect the quality of assurance services. 


Congratulations to the 2017 winning proposals:

  • “Auditing with Data and Analytics: External Reviewer Perceptions of Audit Quality” by Scott Emett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Arizona State University; Steven Kaplan, Ph.D., Director and KPMG Professor of Accountancy, Arizona State University; Jeffrey Pickerd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi and Elaine G. Mauldin, Ph.D., CPA, BKD Professor of Accountancy, University of Missouri.
  • “Analyzing the Audit Risk Assessment Process: Real World Insights” by Mark Beasley, Ph.D., CPA, Professor of Accounting, North Carolina State University and Omar Watts, Ph.D., CPA, Assistant Professor of Accounting, St. John Fisher College.
  • “Non-Global Network Firms’ Use of Technology-Based Audit Tools and Implications for Audit Quality” by Jay C. Thibodeau, Ph.D., CPA, Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accountancy, Bentley University and Annie L. Witte, Ph.D. Student, Bentley University.

The Assurance Research Advisory Group will accept new proposals in summer 2018. 

For more information on the Assurance Research Advisory Group, review the FAQs. Additionally, you may be interested in reviewing the 2017 Request for Proposal document. Keep in mind that the areas of interest may change.

Defined as entities not required to be audited in accordance with PCAOB auditing standards, including not-for-profit organizations, employee benefit plans and governmental entities.

If you are interested in conducting academic research on public company auditing topics, the Center for Audit Quality has two programs that might be of interest: Access to Audit Personnel and Research Advisory Board grants.