This study examines the association between shareholder dissatisfaction, as proxied using auditor ratification voting, and subsequent auditor effort and audit quality. We document that increases in shareholder dissatisfaction are associated with (a) higher audit fees and longer audit report lags, and (b) lower abnormal accruals and reduced likelihood of financial statement misstatements, in the subsequent period. These findings inform the debate about auditor ratification voting, as governance-activists and some regulators argue to increase the role of shareholders in auditor selection despite opposition from some firms and the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission. We provide empirical evidence that increases in shareholder dissatisfaction with the auditor are associated with increases in subsequent auditor effort and audit quality. This suggests that shareholder action (even non-binding) may potentially influence subsequent audit outcomes.

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