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Auditor choice in the Belgian nonprofit sector: a behavioral perspective


  • Reheul, Anne-Mie

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Van Caneghem, Tom

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Verbruggen, Sandra

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)


This study investigates auditor choice in Belgian nonprofit organizations from a behavioral perspective. We investigate whether auditor choice in favor of an auditor with a high (versus low) level of sector specialization is associated with the importance that nonprofit organizations attach to six auditor attributes: competence/integrity/deontology, working relationship with management, audit fee, practical execution of the audit, client oriented analysis and suggestions, and sector expertise. It is important to understand the criteria underlying this choice as it has been revealed in the extant literature that auditor sector specialization improves audit quality and financial statement information. We find that nonprofit organizations attaching higher value to sector expertise and client oriented analysis and suggestions are significantly more likely to choose an auditor with a higher level of sector specialization. From this finding we derive a number of recommendations for the audit profession and for policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Reheul, Anne-Mie & Van Caneghem, Tom & Verbruggen, Sandra, 2011. "Auditor choice in the Belgian nonprofit sector: a behavioral perspective," Working Papers 2011/36, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:201136

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Deis, Donald Jr. & Giroux, Gary, 1996. "The effect of auditor changes on audit fees, audit hours, and audit quality," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 55-76.
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    8. Geraldine Broye & Laurent Weill, 2008. "Does leverage influence auditor choice? A cross-country analysis," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(9), pages 715-731.
    9. Heidi Vander Bauwhede & Marleen Willekens, 2004. "Evidence on (the lack of) audit-quality differentiation in the private client segment of the belgian audit market," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 501-522.
    10. Hope, Ole-Kristian & Kang, Tony & Thomas, Wayne & Yoo, Yong Keun, 2008. "Culture and auditor choice: A test of the secrecy hypothesis," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 357-373.
    11. repec:bla:joares:v:35:y:1997:i:1:p:97-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Tom Van Caneghem, 2010. "Audit pricing and the Big4 fee premium: evidence from Belgium," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 122-139, January.
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    auditor choice; auditor sector specialization; nonprofit organizations; behavioral study; Belgium.;

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