Litigation environment and auditors' decisions to accept clients' aggressive reporting
This study contributes to accounting and auditing literature by addressing two empirical questions: (1) whether litigation environment affects auditors' decisions to accept clients' aggressive reporting and (2) whether litigation environment, client business risk, and client retention pressure interact and jointly affect auditors' decisions to go along with clients' preferred accounting choices. Fifty-nine (59) US and sixty-one (61) Hong Kong auditors employed by the Big-4 accounting firms participated in this study. The result shows that litigation environment has a significant effect on auditors' decisions. Auditors who practice in more litigious environments tend to be less willing to go along with clients' aggressive reporting than those who practice in less litigious environments. This study also confirms that there is a significant interactive effect between litigation environment, client business risk, and client retention pressure on auditors' decisions to accept clients' aggressive reporting choices. Implications of the empirical findings for policymakers, standard-setting organizations, and international accounting firms, as well as directions for future studies, are discussed.
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