We find no significant association between non–audit service fees and impaired auditor independence, where auditor independence is surrogated by auditors’ propensity to issue going concern audit opinions. We also find no association between going concern opinions and either total fees or audit fees. In addition, our findings are robust to controlling for unexpected fees, to controlling for endogeneity among our variables, and to several alternative research design specifications. Our results are consistent with market–based incentives, such as loss of reputation and litigation costs, dominating the expected benefits from compromising auditor independence.
Journal of Accounting Research – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2002
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