Greater Reliance on Major Customers and Auditor Going Concern Opinions
49 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019 Last revised: 21 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 11, 2019
In this study we predict and provide evidence that distressed firms that rely more heavily on major customers for sales have a comparatively higher incidence of receiving going concern opinions (GCOs). Moreover, we find that the effect of increased reliance on major customers is driven by firms that are more distressed. We also theorize that variations in key characteristics of the relationship between distressed firms and their largest major customer are incrementally linked to GCOs, and present evidence consistent with this. Specifically, we find that the effect of greater reliance on major customers is driven by firms that are relatively smaller than their largest major customer. Additionally, we find that greater reliance on major customers is positively (negative) associated with GCOs when firms are in a shorter (longer) relationship with their major customer and when firms have a different auditor to (same auditor as) the largest major customer. Overall, our study indicates that supply-chain relationships are relevant business risks associated with auditors’ going concern assessments.
Keywords: going concern, major customer, financial distress, customer reliance, sales dependence
JEL Classification: M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation