Board Interlocks and Auditor Choice: Firm and Partner Level

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 Last revised: 21 Jun 2013

See all articles by Chen‐Lung Chin

Chen‐Lung Chin

National Chengchi University

Ann Ling‐Ching Chan

National Chengchi University (NCCU)

Date Written: June 16, 2013


This study investigates how board networks affect the directors’ decision to retain auditors who are industry experts. Based on the unique data in Taiwan, where the audit report is issued in the name of two signing auditors as well as the audit firm, we find that a firm is more likely to retain an audit firm (or partner) that is an industry expert if it shares a director with another firm that retains firm-level (or partner-level) specialists. In addition, we find that firms are more likely to retain both auditing firms and partners that are industry specialists if one or more of its directors serve on the boards of other firms that retain specialists at both levels. In parallel, we find that audit quality is associated with interlocked boards. Specifically, a firm is likely to have higher audit quality if it shares common directors with another firm that uses both a firm and a lead partner with industry expertise. Together, these findings substantiate the spillover effect of interlocked boards on corporate decisions to appoint auditors who are industry specialists, which in turn determines audit quality.

Keywords: board interlock, auditor choice, industry-experienced auditors, audit quality

JEL Classification: M41, M42, G30

Suggested Citation

Chin, Chen Lung and Chan, Ann, Board Interlocks and Auditor Choice: Firm and Partner Level (June 16, 2013). Available at SSRN:

Chen Lung Chin

National Chengchi University ( email )

No. 64, Chih-Nan Road
Section 2
Wenshan, Taipei 11623

Ann Chan (Contact Author)

National Chengchi University (NCCU) ( email )

#64, Chih-Nan Rd. Sec. 2
Wen-Shan District
Taipei, 116

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