Audit Partner Identification and Characteristics: Evidence from U.S. Form AP Filings

46 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017 Last revised: 12 Nov 2018

See all articles by Jenna Burke

Jenna Burke

University of Colorado at Denver

Rani Hoitash

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy

Udi Hoitash

Northeastern University - Accounting Group

Date Written: November 1, 2018

Abstract

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

Burke, Jenna and Hoitash, Rani and Hoitash, Udi, Audit Partner Identification and Characteristics: Evidence from U.S. Form AP Filings (November 1, 2018). Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2989166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2989166

Jenna Burke (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Denver ( email )

Box 173364
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO 80217
United States

Rani Hoitash

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452-4705
United States

Udi Hoitash

Northeastern University - Accounting Group ( email )

360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States
671-373-5839 (Phone)

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