Staff auditors frequently conduct evidence inquiry with clients through email. Surveys and interviews suggest audit partners are concerned that staff auditors’ professional skepticism may be reduced in email communication due to lack of nonverbal cues and the additional time the client may have to craft a response. Using a survey and an experiment, we investigate whether client response time and message processing fluency influence staff auditors’ skepticism and judgments. Auditors are more skeptical, and provide higher risk ratings, when a client provides a more fluent response than a less fluent response within an immediate response time. Results reverse when the response is within a moderate, but expected time period. A path analysis indicates the interaction of fluency and response time impacts perceptions of management’s ability to craft and trust/forthcomingness in management, thereby impacting auditor judgments. These results have implications for audit quality and other accounting judgments that incorporate written communication.