What’s in a Name? Initial Evidence of U.S. Audit Partner Identification Using Difference-in-Differences Analyses
Posted: 9 Nov 2018 Last revised: 7 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 2019
We investigate changes in the quality and cost of audit services surrounding PCAOB Rule 3211, which requires disclosure of audit partner names in Form AP. To isolate changes due to Rule 3211 from other confounding factors, we use difference-in-differences analyses with separate control groups, including a group of companies that disclosed partner identities prior to Rule 3211. Our study also incorporates several measures from prior literature to proxy for various dimensions of audit quality. Evidence from the difference-in-differences analyses reveals that any immediate impact of Rule 3211 on audit quality or fees is limited to specific dimensions of audit quality, specific control groups, and/or specific company characteristics. We reach this conclusion after considering alternative research designs and evaluating confidence intervals for statistically insignificant coefficients. We caution that our findings only provide initial evidence and further research is necessary to evaluate other potential impacts of Rule 3211.
Keywords: PCAOB, Rule 3211, Form AP, audit partner, audit quality, audit fees, difference-in-differences
JEL Classification: M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation