Do PCAOB Inspections Improve Working Capital Accrual Reliability? Evidence from PCAOB Annual versus Triennial Inspection Exposure
Forthcoming in Accounting Horizons DOI/10.2308/horizons-17-180
45 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2020
Date Written: January 12, 2020
In this study, we examine whether the ability of working capital (WC) accruals to predict future earnings and cash flows differs between registrants whose auditors are subject to annual Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspections and those whose auditors are subject to triennial PCAOB inspections. We find that WC accruals of clients audited by auditors subject to annual PCAOB inspections enhance earnings persistence more and map into future cash flow realizations better than those audited by auditors subject to triennial PCAOB inspections. These findings are stronger for operating asset accruals than for operating liability accruals. Furthermore, after PCAOB inspection reports are released, improvements in WC accruals reliability are more evident for clients audited by annually inspected auditors than for clients audited by triennially inspected auditors. Overall, our findings suggest that more frequent PCAOB inspections help to improve WC accrual reliability.
Keywords: Frequency of PCAOB inspection; Working capital accruals; Earnings persistence; Cash flow mapping
JEL Classification: M41; M42; M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation