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Effects of the Big 4 national and city-level industry expertise on audit quality in the United Kingdom

journal contribution
posted on 21.04.2021, 10:20 by Ayuni Mohd-KharuddinAyuni Mohd-Kharuddin, Ilias G Basioudis, Omar Al Farooque
In this study, we examine for the first time in the UK, the effects of the Big 4 audit firms’ national (firm-level) and city-office (office-level) industry specialization on audit quality. Based on public firms listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), we find that clients of the Big 4 joint national and city-level auditor industry specialists have smaller magnitude of discretionary accruals, lower income-increasing discretionary accruals and lesser accrual estimation error, indicating higher audit quality. In addition, we also find that when the Big 4 auditors are both national and city-specific industry leaders, their clients are more likely to be issued a modified audit opinion as well as a going concern audit report. The findings imply that industry expertise of the national and city-based professionals of the Big 4 firms have now been captured and distributed more broadly throughout the firm and within their offices. In addition, the outcome of this study provides additional evidence that the more recent UK evidence of a fee premium exclusively attached to the Big 4 joint specialists reflects their differentiated service and higher quality audit relative to their non-specialist counterparts.

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation

Volume

43

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2021.100398.

Acceptance date

27/02/2020

Publication date

2021-03-26

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1061-9518

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Ayuni Mohd Kharuddin. Deposit date: 24 April 2020

Article number

100398