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Faculty Recognition

Business Professor Honored with Prestigious Award

The award was founded to encourage research relevant to the professional practice of accounting.

Kim Westermann, an associate professor in the Orfalea College of Business, recently received the 2022 Deloitte Foundation Wildman Medal Award for a paper about inspections by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

A professional headshot of a female professor with blonde hair, smiling.
Kim Westermann.

The award, which includes a medal and monetary prize, will be presented on Monday, August 1 at the 2022 AAA Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Written with colleagues Jeffrey Cohen and Greg Trompeter, the paper, “PCAOB Inspections: Public Accounting Firms on Trial,” sought a better understanding of how auditors anticipate the potential for PCAOB inspection, experience the inspection, cope with the consequences of the inspection, and understand the board’s influence within the context of professionalism.

“We use a qualitative approach that uses both surveys (55) and interviews (20) of auditors (of varying rank and firm) across a five-year period (2012–2017),” the authors wrote. “Respondents suggest that PCAOB inspectors are powerful, representing the ‘prosecution,’ ‘judge’ and ‘jury’ of the auditing profession. We therefore use a structural metaphor of the PCAOB inspection as a judicial ‘trial.’”

The paper was published in the summer 2019 issue of Contemporary Accounting Research.

Westermann, Ph.D., CPA (inactive) is an associate professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She holds a Ph.D. in Accountancy from Bentley University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a senior auditor at EY in San Jose, California and subsequently worked at PwC in New York, ending her career in public accounting as a manager in the firm’s Learning and Education division. She is interested in qualitative methods and conducts research rooted within sociology and organizational behavior literatures, examining both audit practitioners and clients about their perspectives on current global issues (e.g., group audits, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspections, international licensure) in auditing.

She has published in Contemporary Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, and Issues in Accounting Education. She serves as an editor for Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory and serves on the editorial board of Contemporary Accounting Research.

The Deloitte Foundation Wildman Medal Award* was founded in 1978 to commemorate John Wildman and to encourage research relevant to the professional practice of accounting.