The 2008 financial crisis has transformed the business environment. The number of audited firms has fallen considerably since the crisis, leading to a reduction in the cost of auditing services as a result of fierce competition among auditors. This drop in audit fees is of great concern for audited firms because it may be correlated with a fall in audit service quality. Such a fall in quality ultimately harms the prestige of audited firms and therefore negatively affects their profits. Based on an application of fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), this paper analyzes the quality of audit services following a drop in the fees charged by auditors. The factors analyzed in the empirical study were audit fees, other fees charged by the auditor, and the inclusion of explanatory paragraphs, qualified opinions, and emphasis of matter in audit reports. The EBITDA of the audited firms was chosen as an indicator of the quality of the service. The results of the analysis reveal that the quality of the auditing service has remained steady despite the fall in audit fees, as confirmed by the fact that the EBITDA has evolved positively without being affected by the fall in fees.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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