Does a Lack of Choice Lead to Lower Quality?: Evidence from Auditor Competition and Client Restatements
Nathan J. Newton
Texas A&M University - Department of Accounting
Texas A&M University
Michael S. Wilkins
August 30, 2011
We examine the relationship between auditor competition and the likelihood of financial restatements that occur as a result of failures in the application of GAAP. Policy makers and audit market participants have expressed concern that the current level of auditor competition is low, resulting in a negative impact on audit quality. However, we find that restatements are more likely to occur in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) that have higher auditor competition. The association between audit market competition and restatements is statistically and economically significant. Our finding that audit quality is higher when auditor competition is lower suggests that at least some of the concerns about concentrated audit markets may be unfounded.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
Keywords: auditor competition, audit quality, restatementsworking papers series
Date posted: August 31, 2011 ; Last revised: May 17, 2012
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