Female Auditors and Accruals Quality

Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by Kim Ittonen

Kim Ittonen

Hanken School of Economics - Department of Accounting

Emilia Vähämaa

Hanken School of Economics

Sami Vähämaa

University of Vaasa

Date Written: May 15, 2012


This paper examines the association between accruals quality and the gender of the firm’s audit engagement partner. In particular, given the documented gender-based differences in diligence, conservatism, and risk tolerance, we postulate that female auditors may improve accruals quality. Using a sample of Finnish and Swedish NASDAQ OMX listed firms, we run several alternative panel regressions of abnormal discretionary accruals on female auditor variables and firm-specific controls. The results suggest that firms with female audit engagement partners are associated with smaller abnormal accruals, thereby implying that female auditors may have a constraining effect on earnings management. In general, our findings indicate that the behavioral differences between women and men may have important implications for the quality of auditing and financial reporting.

Keywords: auditor gender, female auditors, gender differences, discretionary accruals, abnormal accruals, accruals quality, earnings management

JEL Classification: M40, M42, G30

Suggested Citation

Ittonen, Kim and Vähämaa, Emilia and Vähämaa, Sami, Female Auditors and Accruals Quality (May 15, 2012). Accounting Horizons, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 205–228, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2060797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2060797

Kim Ittonen

Hanken School of Economics - Department of Accounting ( email )

FI-00101 Helsinki

Emilia Vähämaa

Hanken School of Economics ( email )

PB 287
Helsinki, Vaasa 65101

Sami Vähämaa (Contact Author)

University of Vaasa ( email )

P.O. Box 700
Vaasa, FI-65101
+358 29 449 8455 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.univaasa.fi/~sami

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