The Effect of Political Visibility on Audit Effort and Audit Pricing
19 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2010
This study examines whether auditors adjust their effort and pricing decisions for political visibility. We argue, from the behavioural literature, that political visibility will create the need for more justification by auditors. Using data on actual audit fees, hours and billing rates for a sample of New Zealand public sector companies, we find that total audit fees are positively related to the number of press mentions (our proxy for political visibility). Consistent with our expectations we find that audit fees are monotonically related to audit fees. We also find that auditors increase the hours spent on the audit but not billing rates, which further suggests defensive bolstering by auditors.
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