SUMMARY

We examine the effect IFRS adoption has had on audit effort and the effectiveness of greater audit effort on constraining earnings management. We find that following Italy's adoption of IFRS, audit hours (but not the hourly rate) increased, suggesting that audit effort (in audit hours) increased following IFRS adoption. We then examine whether more audit hours are associated with improved audit quality in the IFRS regime. Consistent with prior literature (Caramanis and Lennox 2008), we find that more audit effort is associated with lower abnormal accruals in the period before IFRS adoption. Interestingly, after Italy adopted IFRS, abnormal accruals are lower, but audit hours were less associated with lower abnormal accruals, implying that more audit hours are needed to constrain earnings management. Collectively, our empirical analysis suggests that while audit effort increased with mandatory IFRS adoption, the effectiveness of audit effort to constrain earnings management decreased.

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