The conservative newcomer: The effects on audit quality as a consequence of audit firm rotation in Swedish publicly listed companies 2008-2012
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The topic of the effects of audit quality as a consequence of audit firm rotation has been debated for decades in business science. It has also been discussed in the political arena. In April 2013 the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Union voted for a draft law requiring mandatory audit firm rotation for periods of 14 years. Countries such as Sweden might face the possible changes in audit quality that the mandatory audit firm rotation entails. In the light of these events, we studied how the audit quality changes when audit firms rotate. Because we used the Jones Model and the Modified Jones Model, discretionary accruals were our proxy for audit quality. The initial sample consisted of all publicly listed companies which rotated audit firms from 2008 to 2012 in Sweden. We found that there was a statistically significant change in audit quality, in the form of higher discretionary accruals following the rotation. Based on earlier research claiming that higher discretionary accruals signifies lower audit quality, our results suggest that audit firm rotation in Sweden leads to a diminished audit quality. This might be due to the loss of firm-specific knowledge. Our results also indicate that the new auditing firms are more conservative than the auditor firm prior to the rotation, which might be explained by the increased audit risk that is related to the audit of the first-year client.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 58 p.
Audit firm rotation, Mandatory audit firm rotation, Jones Model, Modified Jones Model, Audit quality, Discretionary accruals
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205313OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-205313DiVA: diva2:641217