Do (Fe)Male Auditors Impair Audit Quality? Evidence from Going-Concern Opinions

49 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010 Last revised: 17 Jan 2018

See all articles by Kris Hardies

Kris Hardies

University of Antwerp

Diane Breesch

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Joël Branson

Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB

Date Written: March 31, 2014

Abstract

Recent research indicates that there may be a relationship between the characteristics of the audit engagement partner and audit quality. In this paper, we examine the relationship between audit quality and the presence of a female or male audit engagement partner. We use the likelihood that an auditor issues a going-concern opinion (GCO), conditional on the client’s financial situation, as an indicator of audit quality. Using a sample of 7,105 financially distressed, private Belgian companies, we find that female auditors are, ceteris paribus, more likely to issue GCOs than male auditors. Our results also show that this effect is stronger when clients are either important (i.e., represent a material portion of the auditor’s revenues) or high-risk (i.e., associated with increased uncertainties and risks). Collectively, these results indicate higher audit quality by female auditors.

Keywords: audit quality, auditor independence, audit opinion, sex differences

JEL Classification: M42, J16, M41

Suggested Citation

Hardies, Kris and Breesch, Diane and Branson, Joël, Do (Fe)Male Auditors Impair Audit Quality? Evidence from Going-Concern Opinions (March 31, 2014). European Accounting Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1583206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1583206

Kris Hardies (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp ( email )

Department of Accounting and Finance
Pleinlaan 13
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

Diane Breesch

Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, Brussels 1050
Belgium

Joël Branson

Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, 1050
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.vub.ac.be/es

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