IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Expert Informational Intermediaries Add Value? Evidence from Auditors in Microcap Initial Public Offerings


  • Joseph Weber
  • Michael Willenborg


Do expert informational intermediaries add value? We address this question by examining the informativeness of the audit report contained in the prospectus associated with a firm's initial public offering (IPO). At the time of the IPO, there is a relative lack of information to facilitate the establishment of equity values, suggesting that the information provided by outside "experts" (e.g., auditors, underwriters) is particularly important. In this article we study small, non-venture-backed IPOs, a segment of the market with the poorest long-run performance and where the prestigious audit firm is often the sole (if any) expert present. We find that the pre-IPO opinions of larger auditors are more predictive of post-IPO negative stock delistings. Of particular note, the opinions of the national-tiered firms are comparably predictive to those of the Big 6, though this finding emerges only after we consider the selectivity-based differences in the clients that hire these national firms. Our findings also indicate that, for larger auditors the presence of a pre-IPO going-concern opinion is more strongly associated with first-year stock returns and that larger auditors are more likely to give such opinions to their distressed clients. Overall, we address a deficiency in the literature relating to "the paucity of evidence on the value of auditor opinions to investors" (Healy and Palepu [ 2001 p. 415]). Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Weber & Michael Willenborg, 2003. "Do Expert Informational Intermediaries Add Value? Evidence from Auditors in Microcap Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 681-720, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:681-720

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jan Smolarski & Neil Wilner & Weifang Yang, 2011. "The use of financial information by private equity funds in evaluating new investments," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 46-68, February.
    2. repec:eee:advacc:v:31:y:2015:i:1:p:11-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Guay, Wayne R. & Weber, Joseph P., 2010. "The role of information and financial reporting in corporate governance and debt contracting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 179-234, December.
    4. DeFond, Mark L. & Lennox, Clive S., 2011. "The effect of SOX on small auditor exits and audit quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 21-40, June.
    5. Taffler, Richard J. & Lu, Jeffrey & Kausar, Asad, 2004. "In denial? Stock market underreaction to going-concern audit report disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 263-296, December.
    6. Philip Brown & Andrew Ferguson & Kate Stone, 2008. "Share Purchase Plans in Australia: Issuer Characteristics and Valuation Implications," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 33(2), pages 307-332, December.
    7. Kaplan, Steven E. & Williams, David D., 2012. "The changing relationship between audit firm size and going concern reporting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 322-341.
    8. Dambra, Michael & Field, Laura Casares & Gustafson, Matthew T., 2015. "The JOBS Act and IPO volume: Evidence that disclosure costs affect the IPO decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 121-143.
    9. Larcker, David F. & Rusticus, Tjomme O., 2010. "On the use of instrumental variables in accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 186-205, April.
    10. C├ęcile Carpentier & Jean-Marc Suret, 2009. "The Survival and Success of Canadian Penny Stock IPOs," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-28, CIRANO.
    11. repec:eee:advacc:v:29:y:2013:i:2:p:171-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Nilabhra Bhattacharya & Elizabeth Demers & Philip Joos, 2010. "The Relevance of Accounting Information in a Stock Market Bubble: Evidence from Internet IPOs," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3-4), pages 291-321.
    13. repec:fan:frfrfr:v:html10.3280/fr2017-001003 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Re-Jin Guo & Nan Zhou, 2016. "Innovation capability and post-IPO performance," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 335-357, February.
    15. Chang, Xin & Dasgupta, Sudipto & Hilary, Gilles, 2005. "The Effect of Auditor Choice on Financing Decisions," CEI Working Paper Series 2005-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. DeFond, Mark & Zhang, Jieying, 2014. "A review of archival auditing research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 275-326.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:681-720. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.