What’s in a Name? The Impact of U.S. Audit Partner Identification on Going Concern Audit Report Modifications
49 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2018 Last revised: 1 Aug 2019
Date Written: January 30, 2018
After a lengthy and protracted debate, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) adopted new rules and related amendments to its auditing standards regarding the engagement partner and other accounting firms that took part in the audit (PCAOB 2015). The rules require disclosure of the engagement partner’s name and information about other accounting firms on new PCAOB Form AP, Auditor Reporting of Certain Audit Participants. We investigate the impact of this regulation on auditor behavior in the context of the auditor’s going concern report modification propensity. Consistent with a perceived increase in litigation risk, we document an increase in the propensity to issue a going concern report modification in the disclosure regime. Our results are sensitive to auditor type. Specifically, only Big Four auditors exhibit an increase in the going concern modification rate. Our evidence is consistent with Big Four audit partners believing that audit partner identification exposes them to higher litigation risk.
Keywords: Audit partner identification; Auditor Reporting, Going Concern Opinion
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