Audit Pricing of Shared Leadership
49 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 17, 2016
This study explores audit implications of shared leadership in client firms. Shared leadership via co-CEO appointments may lead to either suboptimal or optimal managerial decisions, depending on the conflicting or complementary dynamics between multiple CEOs. Analyzing data from 2002 to 2013 of Korean listed companies where co-CEO structure is widespread, we find that auditors spend fewer audit hours and charge lower audit fees for clients with multiple CEOs. Additional tests reveal that hourly fees are not significantly different across clients with or without co-CEOs. Collectively, our findings suggest that the lower audit fees for co-CEO clients are likely attributable to reduced audit effort rather than to a reduced hourly fee. In further searches of specific channels through which audit fees are reduced for the co-CEO clients, we present evidence that firms with co-CEOs exhibit better reporting quality than do firms with a solitary CEO. In sum, the findings of this paper suggest that mutual monitoring via co-CEO appointments assures high quality financial reporting of audit clients, and thus leads to reduced audit fees.
Keywords: Audit Fees, Audit Effort, Audit Hours, Co-CEOs, Shared Leadership
JEL Classification: M42, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation