بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
Lead auditors frequently rely on work performed by Other auditors, especially when auditing clients with operations in multiple countries. The PCAOB has expressed concern that the quality of such group audits may differ depending on whether the Lead auditor accepts or declines responsibility for work done by Other auditors. The PCAOB also has been concerned with the venue through which Lead auditors and Other auditors disclose their participation in group audits, including disclosure of whether Lead auditors accept or decline responsibility. To investigate these issues, we employ a sample consisting entirely of group audit engagements. We identify Lead auditors taking responsibility from PCAOB Form 2, filed by Other auditors of U.S. registrants for fiscal years 2009 to 2017. We identify Lead auditors not accepting responsibility from audit report disclosures during the same period. The results suggest that Lead auditors accepting responsibility charge higher audit fees but provide audits of no higher quality, and possibly of even lower quality. These results are robust to various additional analyses. Our research contributes to the ongoing debate over how the participation of Other auditors affects audit quality.
The Lead auditor of a multinational company often relies on work done by Other auditors.1 In recent years, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has expressed concern over Lead auditors’ reliance on work performed by Other auditors (PCAOB, 2010, 2011a, 2015a, 2016a). In 2015, it issued new guidance requiring disclosure of information about other firms participating in audits (PCAOB, 2015b). A recent proposal, to strengthen group audit requirements and impose a more uniform approach to the Lead auditor’s supervision, notes that: ‘‘… the impact of using Other auditors on overall audit quality is still a largely unanswered empirical question and may depend on the facts and circumstances of the audit” (PCAOB, 2016a, 29). The goal of this paper is to investigate one such circumstance: whether Lead auditors’ disclosed choices to decline or accept responsibility for work done by Other auditors are associated with differences in audit fees and quality.3 Studies examining the participation of Other auditors are rare and provide mixed evidence. Carson et al. (2016) document that Australian audit firms charge higher fees when Other auditors are involved. Burke et al. (2018) reach similar conclusions using U.S. group audits identified from Form AP disclosures.4 When Dee et al. (2015) use a sample of U.S. listed companies, they do not find such a difference for group audits identified from PCAOB Form 2,5 relative to a control sample without Form 2 disclosure of Other auditors. These prior studies compare audit fees of firms using the work of Other auditors to those of firms not using Other auditors (Carson et al., 2016; Burke et al., 2018), or they compare fees of firms with Form 2 disclosure of Other auditors to those of firms without such disclosure (Dee et al., 2015). Prior studies show that Lead auditors that disclaim responsibility for the work of an Other auditor in the audit report of a client’s 10-K (Lyubimov, 2011) or Lead auditors that use the work of other auditors as disclosed in the PCAOB Form 2 (Dee et al., 2015) have lower audit or financial reporting quality relative to those without such disclosure, many of which were likely not group audits.