This paper examines agency explanations for choice of auditor in the context of the transition from a mandatory to a voluntary joint audit system in Denmark. Our findings suggest that companies do use auditor choices as a balancing mechanism against independence threats.More specifically, we find more frequent rotation when single auditor are appointed, more equal audit fee share in the year before the voluntary joint audit system took effect and higher propensity to choose non-BigN auditor (absence of dominance) when joint audits are chosen, and lower NAS increases when joint audits are involved. We also find that the length of relationship with prime BigN auditors are longer than for non-BigN, thus suggesting potential problem with independence in appearance consistent with the EC green paper issues raised concerning audit firm concentration. However, we do not find differences between BigN and non-BigN in terms of providing NAS to the companies, thus indicating that remaining threats to independence in appearance caused by NAS is not related to a BigN effect.
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American Accounting association annual Meeting, 2012