The Interrelation between Audit Quality and Managerial Reporting Choices and Its Effects on Financial Reporting Quality
Posted: 13 Apr 2019
Date Written: November 29, 2018
Two distinct lines of research have been dedicated to empirically testing how financial reporting quality (measured as the earnings response coefficient or ERC) is associated with management's choice of reporting bias and with audit quality. However, researchers have yet to consider how ERCs are affected by either the auditor's reaction to changes in the manager’s reporting bias or the manager’s reaction to changes in audit quality. Our study provides theoretical guidance on these interrelations, and how changes in the manager’s or the auditor’s incentives affect both reporting bias and audit quality. Specifically, when the manager’s cost (benefit) of reporting bias increases (decreases), we find that expected bias decreases, inducing the auditor to react by reducing audit quality. Because we also find that the association between expected audit quality and ERCs is always positive, changes in managerial incentives for biased reporting lead to a positive association between ERCs and expected reporting bias. When the cost of auditing decreases or the cost of auditor liability increases, we find that expected audit quality increases, inducing the manager to react by decreasing reporting bias. In this case, changes in the costs of audit quality lead to a negative association between ERCs and expected reporting bias. Finally, we demonstrate the impact of our theoretical findings by focusing on the empirical observations documented in the extant literature on managerial ownership and accounting expertise on the audit committee. In light of our framework, we provide new interpretations of these empirical observations and new predictions for future research.
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