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Audit quality and tax-induced earnings management in UK private firms

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  • VAN TENDELOO, Brenda
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    Abstract

    This paper examines audit quality and tax-induced earnings management in UK private (i.e. non-listed) firms. Tax incentives are considered to play a large role in private firms’ earnings management behavior. While Big 4 auditors are generally considered to provide a higher audit quality compared to non-Big 4 auditors, we expect that Big 4 auditors in a weak tax alignment country have weak incentives to constrain tax-induced earnings management. Moreover, Big 4 auditors arguably possess a higher expertise in providing tax advice, which is allowed under the EC recommendation on auditor independence. We provide evidence that UK firms engage more in income-decreasing earnings management and have lower relative tax burdens when they have a Big 4 auditor. These results imply that Big 4 auditors seem to help their clients in engaging in tax-induced earnings management.

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    File URL: https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container1244/files/TEW%20-%20Onderzoek/Working%20Papers/RPS/2007/RPS-2007-004.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007004.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2007004

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    Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
    Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/
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    1. Shackelford, Douglas A. & Shevlin, Terry, 2001. "Empirical tax research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 321-387, September.
    2. Zimmerman, Jerold L., 1983. "Taxes and firm size," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 119-149, April.
    3. DeAngelo, Linda Elizabeth, 1981. "Auditor size and audit quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-199, December.
    4. VAN TENDELOO, Brenda & VANSTRAELEN, Ann, 2005. "Earnings management and audit quality in Europe: Evidence from the private client segment market," Working Papers 2005012, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    5. Gupta, Sanjay & Newberry, Kaye, 1997. "Determinants of the variability in corporate effective tax rates: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-34.
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