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Mandatory audit firm rotation and audit quality

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Author Info

  • Andrew B. Jackson
  • Michael Moldrich
  • Peter Roebuck
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect that a regime of mandatory audit firm rotation would have on audit quality. Design/methodology/approach – Using two measures of audit quality, being the propensity to issue a going-concern report and the level of discretionary accruals, the paper examines the switching patterns of clients in their current voluntary switching capacity, and the levels of audit quality. Findings – The main finding is that audit quality increases with audit firm tenure, when proxied by the propensity to issue a going-concern opinion, and is unaffected when proxied by the level of discretionary expenses. Given the additional costs associated with switching auditors, it is concluded that there are minimal, if any, benefits of mandatory audit firm rotation. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this study is that only actual audit quality is examined. While the results suggest that actual audit quality is associated with the length of audit tenure, the perception of audit quality is not addressed, which may increase with audit firm rotation. Originality/value – The results go against the move towards mandatory audit firm rotation, and suggest that other initiatives may need to be considered to address concerns about auditor independence and audit quality.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Managerial Auditing Journal.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 420-437

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:majpps:v:23:y:2008:i:5:p:420-437

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Related research

    Keywords: Auditing; Auditors; Australia; Laws and legislation;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Zhan Shu, Susan, 2000. "Auditor resignations: clientele effects and legal liability," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 173-205, April.
    2. DeAngelo, Linda Elizabeth, 1981. "Auditor size and audit quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-199, December.
    3. Arrunada, Benito & Paz-Ares, Candido, 1997. "Mandatory rotation of company auditors: A critical examination," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-61, March.
    4. Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
    5. Karla M. Johnstone & Jean C. Bedard, 2004. "Audit Firm Portfolio Management Decisions," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 659-690, 09.
    6. Craswell, Allen T. & Francis, Jere R. & Taylor, Stephen L., 1995. "Auditor brand name reputations and industry specializations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-322, December.
    7. Mark L. DeFond, 2002. "Do Non-Audit Service Fees Impair Auditor Independence? Evidence from Going Concern Audit Opinions," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 1247-1274, 09.
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    Cited by:
    1. Anastasopoulos, Nikolaos P. & Anastasopoulos, Markos P., 2012. "The evolutionary dynamics of audit," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 216(2), pages 469-476.
    2. Seyed Mahmoud Hosseinniakani & Helena Inacio & Rui Mota, 2014. "A Review on Audit Quality Factors," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 243-254, April.

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