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This study compares the decision-making processes of 52 expert and novice auditors in an audit planning task. A process tracing method is used to monitor auditors' information search behavior. Three dimensions of information search behavior are examined using a new method of analysis: information search strategy, information acquisition behavior and search duration. In general, experts and novices exhibited different information search behavior. Experts exhibited a more global search pattern guided by an overall planning strategy. They also acquired significantly less information on internal control but attached more importance to these controls, indicating that they might acquire information more efficiently. Finally, experts were more efficient than novices in terms of information search time and required significantly less time to perform the task.