Publications:

Scholarly Journal Articles:

[1] Rickett, L. K. (Nov/Dec. 2015) "The Data Security Breach and Risk Assessment: Imminent Threat, High Cost and Preparation is Key," Internal Auditing (lead article), Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 6-10.

- Data security breaches are becoming increasingly common.  In this article I analyze and summarize data security breaches and the effect on audit risk.  Examples of recent cases where security breaches occurred as well as the associated costs are examined. Important factors are outlined which should be considered in evaluating audit risk.  A summary of legislation that must be adhered to if a security breach occurs as well related information resources is provided.

[2] Rickett, L. K., Maggina, A., and Alam, P., (2016) "Auditor Tenure and Accounting Conservatism: Evidence from Greece," Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 31, No. 6/7, pp. 538-565.

- We examine the relationship between auditor tenure and conservatism for firms in Greece, where there is not only a high incident of earnings management but also where firms are required under the new European Commission (EC) regulation to comply with mandatory auditor rotation. Conservatism decreases as the auditor-client relationship lengthens. When using the accrual-cash flow measure of conservatism (Ball and Shivakumar, 2005), auditor tenure is positively (negatively) associated with conservatism for less (more) important clients. Longer auditor tenure may have a negative impact on audit quality in countries where accounting quality is poor. The new EC regulation may improve audit quality for firms in Greece. These findings are important to regulators and auditors.

[3] Rickett, L. K. (2016) "Do financial blogs serve an infomediary role in capital markets?" American Journal of Business, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 1-24.

- Financial blogs provide an online platform whereby retail investors effortlessly gain access to an abundant array of investment guidance. Prior studies find that the market reacts to financial blogs and similar online venues but results are not consistent and financial blogs, a growing area in new media and distinct from other online venues, have received little attention. This study examines the particular conditions in which financial blogs serve an infomediary role in capital markets; when information asymmetry is high, earnings quality is low, and during economic uncertainty. These are conditions in which retail investors may seek easily accessible advice for their investment decisions. Results indicate that abnormal returns are associated with the SeekingAlpha.com financial blog during economic uncertainty and also for buy recommendations when information asymmetry is high. This association is strengthened for firms with low institutional ownership, a proxy for unsophisticated or retail investors.

[4] Rickett, L. K. and Smith, D. (Summer 2016) "Accounting Teams: Are peer evaluations too generous?" Accounting Instructors' Report.

- University instructors often incorporate team projects into the college curriculum and some instructors utilize peer evaluations where students evaluate their teammates' performance on the project (Takeda and Homberg, 2014). These evaluations allow the instructor to assess the contribution of individual team members. We provide valuable insight into a student's perception of their teammates based on the results of peer- and self-evaluation surveys. How do students rank themselves against their peers? Are students overall generous or harsh with their evaluations? Are slackers identified? Are there differences in the perceptions of students based on gender? We gather peer evaluations from four years of classes and analyze the results to look for answers to these questions.

[5] Rickett, L. K. and Smith, D. (2016) "Bloggers as Financial Analysts," Strategic Finance, Vol. 98, No. 1, pp. 32-39.
http://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/july-2016-bloggers-as-financial-analysts/

- Financial bloggers are gaining influence in the investment community and some argue that this form of social media is becoming a legitimate media source. We document the prevalence, reach, and legitimacy of financial bloggers and explain why it is critical that executive management take proactive steps to manage their company message in the blogosphere.

[6] Rickett, L. K. (Sept/Oct. 2016) "Big Data and Risk Assessment," Internal Auditing, Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 13-17.

- One of the most important uses of Big Data and analytics in internal audit is to enhance risk assessment.  Big Data and analytics can provide a clearer picture of risks companies face as well as insights as to how these risks can be mitigated. Internal audit departments should aim to develop and implement data analytics capabilities to provide better insight and allow auditors to devise effective audit plans. Big Data and data analytics are leading the way for the future of internal auditing.

[7] Datta, P. & Rickett, L. K. (2016) "Information Activism and Retail Investor Behavior in Divergent Market Conditions," Journal of Accounting & Finance, Vol. 16, No. 8.

- Information activism is intentional action from formal and informal sources offering supplemental communication intended to form and/or sway investor behavior. A number of studies provide evidence that information activism affects retail investor behavior (Busse & Green 2002; Neumann & Kenny 2007; Barber Odean 2007; Engelberg et al. 2009). This study expands empirical research by identifying the particular circumstances; i.e., during economic uncertainty and when information asymmetry is high, in which investor behavior is associated with information activism.  Findings denote that abnormal returns are associated with information activism during bearish market conditions and for buy recommendations when information asymmetry is high.

[8] Rickett, L.K. & Datta, P. (2017) "Beauty-Contests in the Age of Financialization: Information Activism and Retail Investor Behavior," Journal of Information Technology

- Keynes (1936) rightfully argued that picking stocks is akin to a beauty contest. The chances of winning are amplified if one's choice matches the likelihood of the panel's choice. In this era of financialization, where profit-making has shifted to speculative sways rather than fundamental trade and commodity production measures (Krippner 2005), similar beauty contests have become even more acute. Online, real-time media channels along with pervasive investment applications have ushered in unprecedented online financial information and retail investor interest that compete to recommend investment choices and strategies, not driven by strict fundamentals and with varying degrees of credibility. This behavior, referred to as information activism, adds a socio-psychological dimension to the concept of financialization (Lagaorde-Segot, 2016) - wherein technology-driven information reach and range contribute to financial dominance of financial actors and practices. Using information activism as a lens, this research empirically evidences the extent to which information activism affects retail investor behavior in various market conditions.

[9] Rickett, L., K. (March/April 2017) "The Use of Big Data in Auditing & Barriers to Adoption," Tennessee CPA Journal, Vol. 62, No. 2, pp. 18-23

Big Data and data analytics continue to represent a growing area in business resulting in improved business decision-making and performance. While businesses are reaping the benefits of Big Data and data analytics, these methods are also being used to enhance the audit process. Big Data can deliver novel forms of audit evidence and using data analytics the concept of sample size becomes obsolete. Transactional data need not be delayed and can be made available at any time throughout the year on a continuous basis. The audit profession is evolving alongside businesses in embracing the challenges, risks, and unbridled potential for the use of Big Data. However, the adoption of Big Data in auditing appears to be slower than expected due to a variety of challenges such as lack of training and the absence of standards.