Do High-Quality Auditors Improve Non-GAAP Reporting?
55 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2022
Date Written: March 30, 2022
Prior research finds that clients of high-quality auditors report higher quality GAAP earnings. We extend this research to investigate whether auditor quality is associated with the quality of voluntarily disclosed non-GAAP earnings measures. Using a sample of Australian firms disclosing annual non-GAAP metrics, we find that clients of high-quality auditors are more likely to voluntarily disclose non-GAAP earnings numbers. However, clients of high-quality auditors make adjustments in calculating non-GAAP earnings (non-GAAP exclusions) that are less predictive of future earnings and less value relevant than those of other firms. These results indicate that their adjustments are of higher quality. We also find similar results for US firms using a sample of quarterly non-GAAP earnings disclosures. Overall, our evidence indicates that commonly used indicators of audit quality for GAAP reporting are positively associated with the quality of voluntarily disclosed non-GAAP earnings measures.
Keywords: Non-GAAP disclosures, Big 4 auditors, Industry specialization
JEL Classification: J33, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation