Corporate Choice of Providers of Voluntary Carbon Assurance

18 Pages Posted: 23 May 2020

See all articles by Rina Datt

Rina Datt

Western Sydney University

Le Luo

University of Newcastle (Australia)

Qingliang Tang

Western Sydney University - School of Business

Date Written: March 2020


This study investigates corporate incentives for the choice of assurance providers of accounting firms versus nonaccounting firms. Based on an international sample of 3,635 firm‐year observations for the period of 2010–2014, we find that firms subject to greater legitimacy and stakeholder pressure (e.g., those with higher carbon emissions in countries with stringent climate protection and stakeholder‐orientation) are more likely to choose accounting firms as their assurance provider. We also find supporting evidence that firms with a desire to improve carbon management mechanisms (e.g., firms that adopt carbon reduction incentives with higher carbon transparency) show a tendency to choose consulting firms specializing in climate change management. The overall findings suggest that the choice of assurance provider is a strategic decision, which aligns with a firm's overall corporate social responsibility goal. Our results should help practitioners, managers, and regulators understand the emerging audit practice and market.

Keywords: Accounting Versus Nonaccounting Firm, Assurance Provider, Climate Change, Competence, Independence

Suggested Citation

Datt, Rina and Luo, Le and Tang, Qingliang, Corporate Choice of Providers of Voluntary Carbon Assurance (March 2020). International Journal of Auditing, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 145-162, 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Rina Datt (Contact Author)

Western Sydney University ( email )

PO Box 10
Kingswood, NSW 2747

Le Luo

University of Newcastle (Australia) ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308

Qingliang Tang

Western Sydney University - School of Business ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751

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