An Ex Post Examination of Auditor Resignations

作者:Catanach Anthony; Irving James H; Williams Susan Perry; Walker Paul L*
来源:Accounting Horizons, 2011, 25(2): 267-283.


The auditor change literature has generally concluded that clients from whom an audit firm resigns are risky clients, yet little is known about the period after a predecessor auditor has resigned from an engagement. We investigate a sample of resignations to determine why an audit firm chooses to accept the role of successor auditor on a presumably risky engagement and whether this decision is associated with a future adverse outcome. Consistent with prior studies, our results indicate that, relative to Non-Big N firms, Big N firms are more selective in accepting the successor auditor role when the predecessor auditor has resigned. Incremental to these prior studies, we find that Big N firms factor in two variables to help mitigate their potential risk-the timing of the predecessor audit firm's resignation and their own firm's expertise. Our analysis of future outcomes indicates that the resigned clients engaged by Non-Big N successor auditors are associated with weaker long-term financial ratios, shorter survival tenures, and a greater proportion of adverse outcomes compared with the resigned clients engaged by Big N successor auditors.

  • 出版日期2011-6