Auditor Expertise in Mergers and Acquisitions
Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, Forthcoming
54 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2022 Last revised: 2 Nov 2022
Date Written: February 7, 2022
We contribute to the literature on auditor’s task-specific expertise by examining the role of auditor experience in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), a complicated and increasingly prevalent corporate event that can give rise to misreporting. We find that in industries with more complex accounting, clients of M&A expert auditors are less likely to experience M&A-related misstatements. In industries with less complex accounting, M&A experts pass audit fee savings to their clients during acquisition years. Additional analyses suggest that firms are more likely to switch to an M&A expert auditor during an acquisition year, but only in industries with complex accounting. Overall, our results suggest that firms with an acquisitive strategy that engage with M&A expert auditors experience improved M&A-related audit outcomes.
Keywords: Auditor expertise, mergers, acquisitions, auditor changes, audit quality, audit fees, industry complexity
JEL Classification: G34, M4, M41, M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation