PurposeThis study aims to investigate the associations between audit firm attributes (i.e. audit firm size, non-audit services, auditor industry specialization and auditor-client tenure) and specific indicators of audit quality. It also aims to test whether these relationships are moderated by a set of other factors like legal system and US versus non-US settings.Design/methodology/approachThe method of Hunter et al. (1982) is used as a meta-analysis technique to test the study hypotheses and achieve the study aims. A total of 71 published papers from 1992 to 2017 are included.FindingsThere are significant positive relationships between all audit firm attributes and audit quality. Additionally, the associations between all audit firm attributes and audit quality are moderated by proxies for audit quality. Furthermore, these associations are moderated by other variables, such as US and non-US studies, pre-SOX and post-SOX periods, the legal system, the strength of auditing and reporting standards and country classification (developed or developing country).Research limitations/implicationsThe number of studies is insufficient for some variables, and therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution. In addition, the analyzed studies include several proxies, and thus, the number of studies is inadequate for the incorporation of other factors in the meta-analysis (e.g. audit firm experience and audit firm reputation).Originality/valueThis study contributes to audit quality research by providing empirical evidence of the associations between a specific set of audit firm attributes and audit quality using the meta-analysis method. More importantly, the study provides evidence on factors that moderate these associations.
Managerial Auditing Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 7, 2019
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