Eller Faculty Recognized for PhD Alum Award

March 19, 2021


Preeti Choudhary, associate professor of accounting, and Jayanthi Sunder, Deloitte Professor of Accounting, in the Eller College of Management are both being recognized for their work as advisors to alum Jacob Jaggi ’20 PhD, who was recently awarded the American Accounting Association (AAA) 2020 Outstanding Auditing Dissertation Award for his dissertation ‘When Does the Internal Audit Function Enhance Audit Committee Effectiveness?’.

Jaggi’s dissertation examines whether audit committees—whose job is to oversee management—improve financial reporting reliability by utilizing an internal audit function as a resource.

“Because audit committees are independent, they have limited knowledge of the financial reporting processes of a company says Jaggi. “So an internal audit function would help the auditing committee get the optimal information they need in order to really increase reliability in financial reporting.”

The winning dissertation of the award is judged upon the timeliness and importance of the problem addressed, creativity of the research, development of an appropriate theoretical framework, appropriateness of the research method and analysis, potential for publication in a scholarly journal and potential for the results to have an impact on the practice of auditing.

“There is minimal research on internal auditing primarily due to lacking data,” Choudhary. “This dissertation not only finds a unique data source to show how internal audit functions can assist audit committees, but also bring new knowledge to light.”

Jaggi will receive a plaque highlighting his winning dissertation. He also received a research grant from the Institute of Internal Auditors for his research as well as the award for best dissertation at the AAA Western Region Conference in 2020.

“There was a lot more work and research that went into the paper that didn’t actually make it onto the pages,” says Sunder. “And that’s what I think caught the judges’ attention. The idea that it was all tied to practice and something people could believe in.”

Now as assistant professor of accounting at Washington State University, Jaggi plans to continue to pursue his interest in both internal auditing and audit committees.