ABSTRACT

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's (PCAOB) Part II inspection reports, which disclose systemic quality control issues that auditors fail to remediate, signal poor audit quality for triennially inspected audit firms. Auditors that receive a Part II inspection report typically experience a decrease in clients, which demonstrates a general demand for audit quality. However, some companies hire auditors that receive Part II inspection reports. We examine potential reasons for hiring these audit firms. We find that relative to companies that switch to auditors without Part II reports, companies that switch to auditors with Part II reports have higher discretionary accruals in the first fiscal year after the switch, which indicates lower audit quality and a heightened risk for future fraud. We find no difference in audit fees. Our results suggest that PCAOB Part II inspection reports may signal low-quality auditors to companies that desire low-quality audits.

Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.

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