Does Auditor Industry Expertise Affect Bank Loan Costs?

Managerial Auditing Journal, Volume 32, Issue 3, March 2017, pp.295-324

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 Last revised: 9 Jun 2018

See all articles by Fang Sun

Fang Sun

CUNY Hunter College

Chunwei Xian

Northeastern Illinois University

Yinghong Zhang

University of Central Oklahoma

Date Written: April 1, 2017

Abstract

We examine whether firms retaining industry specialist auditors receive better price and nonprice terms for bank loans. Based on a sample of companies retaining big N auditors during the 2000-2010 period, we construct six proxies for auditor industry expertise and test three major loan terms: loan spreads, number of general and financial covenants, and requirements for collateral. We find that companies retaining industry specialist auditors receive lower interest rates and fewer covenants. Banks are also less likely to demand secured collateral. These findings are supported by several sensitivity tests. Our findings suggest that auditor industry expertise provides incremental value to creditors and that bank loan cost is one economic benefit for companies hiring specialist auditors.

Keywords: auditor industry specialization; bank loan contracting; loan spreads; covenant; collateral

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Sun, Fang and Xian, Chunwei and Zhang, Yinghong, Does Auditor Industry Expertise Affect Bank Loan Costs? (April 1, 2017). Managerial Auditing Journal, Volume 32, Issue 3, March 2017, pp.295-324, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2637700

Fang Sun

CUNY Hunter College ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
United States

Chunwei Xian

Northeastern Illinois University ( email )

5500 N. St. Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

Yinghong Zhang (Contact Author)

University of Central Oklahoma ( email )

100 North University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
United States

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