We examine whether engagement partners who have recently been associated with client restatements experience increased audit fee pressures from their non-restating clients. Using data from the United States (U.S.) and Taiwan, we find evidence of lower audit fees among non-restating companies whose audit engagement partner was recently associated with another client’s restatement. These findings are generally strongest when the partner-associated restatement is more prominent or severe, and in the U.S., when non-restating clients are in the same industry as the restating client. Although we find very limited evidence that fee pressures lead to lower quality audits for these partners’ other clients in Taiwan, we find that when the partner-associated restatement is more prominent or severe, fee pressures negatively impact audit quality in the U.S. These findings provide further insight on the impact of engagement partner disclosure for audit quality.
SYNOPSIS We examine the effect of audit committees' cultural diversity, as measured through ancestral cultural diversity of audit committee members, on firms' financial reporting quality. We find that audit committee cultural diversity is associated with a lower likelihood of financial accounting restatements. Our results are driven by firms operating in more complex environments, which suggests that audit committee cultural diversity may be particularly important when the firm is inherently complex. We also find that cultural diversity is associated with a lower likelihood of restatements for companies with more powerful CEOs, suggesting that more culturally diverse audit committees are more effective in restraining CEO accounting opportunism. Additionally, we document that audit committee cultural diversity is associated with an array of other measures of higher reporting quality. Our study thus highlights the importance of cultural diversity in audit committee effectiveness. JEL Classifications: M40; M41.
SYNOPSIS We examine whether firms resort to real earnings management when their ability to manage accruals is constrained by higher quality auditors. In settings involving strong upward earnings management incentives, i.e., for firms that meet or just beat earnings benchmarks and firms that issue seasoned equities, we find that city-level auditor industry expertise and audit fees are associated with higher levels of real earnings management. We find similar, albeit weaker, results for the Big N auditors. Our paper suggests an unintended consequence of higher quality auditors constraining accrual earnings management, namely, firms resorting to potentially even more costly real earnings management. We also find that longer auditor tenure is associated with greater real earnings management, which could suggest merits of mandating audit firm rotation. JEL Classifications: M40; M41.