Audit Partner Identification and Characteristics: Evidence from U.S. Form AP Filings
46 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017 Last revised: 12 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2018
This paper investigates the overall impact of and the information made available by the recent audit partner disclosure requirement in the U.S. After a contentious comment period, the PCAOB released Rule 3211, which requires registered public accounting firms to disclose the name of the audit partner for every audit report it issues. In the first year of adoption, we find a significant increase in audit quality and audit fees and a significant decrease in audit delay. Furthermore, we collect information on partner gender, busyness, education, and social connections to explore whether these newly observable characteristics are associated with audit outcomes. We find that several of these characteristics are associated with variations in audit fees and audit delay, but no evidence of an association with audit quality. Overall, our findings suggest that the disclosure of partner name in Form AP enhances the audit information environment, which supports PCAOB motivation for Rule 3211.
Keywords: PCAOB, Form AP: audit partner disclosure, partner characteristics, gender, busyness, education, social connections
JEL Classification: M42, G18, G28, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation