This study examines whether the length of the relationship between a company and an audit firm (audit‐firm tenure) is associated with financial‐reporting quality. Using two proxies for financial‐reporting quality and a sample of Big 6 clients matched on industry and size, we find that relative to medium audit‐firm tenures of four to eight years, short audit‐firm tenures of two to three years are associated with lower‐quality financial reports. In contrast, we find no evidence of reduced financial‐reporting quality for longer audit‐firm tenures of nine or more years. Overall, our results provide empirical evidence pertinent to the recurring debate regarding mandatory audit‐firm rotation — a debate that has, to date, relied on anecdotal evidence and isolated cases.
Contemporary Accounting Research – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2002
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