SYNOPSIS

This study examines the relationship between CEO turnover in client companies and the fees charged by their audit firms. We propose that forced CEO turnover (such as dismissals) pose higher business and audit risks for the audit firm than voluntary turnover (such as retirements); further, greater risk leads to higher audit prices. We develop a regression model of audit fees that includes, as predictor variables, type of CEO turnover and control variables identified in prior studies (e.g., ROA, total assets, and corporate governance). Results reveal that companies with forced CEO turnover have significantly higher audit fees than companies with either voluntary turnover or no turnover. Further, we find no difference in audit fees between firms with voluntary turnover and firms without turnover.

Data Availability: The data used in this study are publicly available.

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