Scope of Auditors' Liability, Audit Quality, and Capital Investment

Scope of Auditors' Liability, Audit Quality, and Capital Investment One of the fundamental issues in the discussion of auditors' liability is to whom auditors should be held liable for ordinary negligence under common law. Three judicial viewpoints prevail: the restrictive privity approach, the more liberal Restatement approach, and the most liberal foreseeability approach. To compare these three approaches from an efficiency perspective, this paper develops a model that features an owner-managed firm, an independent auditor, a continuum of unrelated lenders, and an impartial court. Double effort-incentive problems appear for the firm and the auditor. The firm has an additional incentive problem due to the sequential nature of its borrowing. This paper shows that the effort-incentive problem and the sequential borrowing problem of the firm render unambiguous improvements in audit effort/quality, capital investment, and social welfare as the judicial approach governing the scope of auditors' liability becomes more conservative. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Scope of Auditors' Liability, Audit Quality, and Capital Investment

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1017983614986
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

One of the fundamental issues in the discussion of auditors' liability is to whom auditors should be held liable for ordinary negligence under common law. Three judicial viewpoints prevail: the restrictive privity approach, the more liberal Restatement approach, and the most liberal foreseeability approach. To compare these three approaches from an efficiency perspective, this paper develops a model that features an owner-managed firm, an independent auditor, a continuum of unrelated lenders, and an impartial court. Double effort-incentive problems appear for the firm and the auditor. The firm has an additional incentive problem due to the sequential nature of its borrowing. This paper shows that the effort-incentive problem and the sequential borrowing problem of the firm render unambiguous improvements in audit effort/quality, capital investment, and social welfare as the judicial approach governing the scope of auditors' liability becomes more conservative.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 21, 2004

References

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