The Impact of Mandatory IFRS Adoption on Audit Fees: Theory and Evidence
University of Waterloo
The University of Hong Kong
The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics
March 31, 2012
Accounting Review, Forthcoming
This study examines the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption on audit fees. We first build an analytical audit fee model to analyze the impact on audit fees of the change in both audit complexity and financial reporting quality brought about by IFRS adoption. We then test the model’s predictions using audit fee data from European Union countries that mandated IFRS adoption in 2005. We find that mandatory IFRS adoption has led to an increase in audit fees. We also find that the IFRS-related audit fee premium increases with the increase in audit complexity brought about by IFRS adoption, and decreases with the improvement in financial reporting quality arising from IFRS adoption. Finally, we find some evidence that the IFRS-related audit fee premium is lower in countries with stronger legal regimes. Our results are robust to a variety of sensitivity checks.
Keywords: IFRS adoption, audit fees, audit complexity, reporting quality, legal regime
JEL Classification: M41, M49, M44
Date posted: January 4, 2010 ; Last revised: September 7, 2012
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