This study investigates accounting firm office acquisitions. It explores whether office acquisitions affect post-acquisition office audit quality, particularly whether there is a spillover effect on the existing client base of the acquiring office. We capitalize on a unique circumstance: the 2002 acquisition of Arthur Andersen (Andersen) offices by other audit firms. This setting involves a set of offices in each of the remaining large international audit firms that acquired entire Andersen local practices and a set of offices that did not acquire Andersen practices. Using a within-audit firm matched sample and a difference-in-differences research design, we find robust evidence of higher audit quality post-acquisition among the audits of existing clients of the acquiring offices. These findings extend the literature on office audit quality and provide initial evidence of the impact of audit firm office acquisitions on the existing client base.

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