Low-cost trends in audit fees and their impact on service quality

Low-cost trends in audit fees and their impact on service quality 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Research Elsevier

Low-cost trends in audit fees and their impact on service quality

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
0148-2963
eISSN
1873-7978
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.11.020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal of Business ResearchElsevier

Published: Aug 1, 2018

References

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