An Investigation of Confirmation Response Timing

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1996


Auditors routinely mail first and second accounts receivable confirmation requests, and they use second request evidence in the same manner as first request evidence. Yet survey literature suggests that response timing patterns may exist that can be exploited to extract additional information from existing evidence. Data from a previously performed confirmation reliability field experiment were re-examined to determine if any response timing pattern is present. The results of this analysis found that transaction volume was related to the timing of response in the direction expected, ie, higher transaction volume increases response time. However, the presence of errors, error size and error direction did not impact response timing. In addition, analysis of quick, but inaccurate replies revealed new information about confirmee behavior in processing auditors' requests for confirmation of accounts receivable. Prior confirmation studies assumed that most inaccurate replies resulted from confirmees simply signing and confirming account balances without checking their corresponding accounts payable files.


Copyright 1996 American Accounting Association

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Publication Title

Auditing: A journal of practice and theory

Published Citation

Caster, Paul and Ram S. Sriram. "An Investigation of Confirmation Response Timing" Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory (Spring 1996), 15(1), pp. 135 – 141.