The Effect of Auditor Style on Reporting Quality: Evidence from Germany

Vlad Porumb, Abe de Jong , Carel Huijgen, Teye Marra, Jan van Dalen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines whether the ‘style’ of individual auditors influences financial reporting quality in Germany. Audit quality in Germany should be uniformly high, because of strong reputational needs, strict controls on operating procedures, and quality enforcement mechanisms. An audit partner’s style should not affect this quality level. However, our results do not support this expectation. Exploiting a unique dataset comprising the names of the audit engagement and review partners of listed German companies, we find that audit engagement partners in Germany have a significant influence on audit quality, beyond firm- and office-level factors. In contrast, audit review partners do not have a consistent significant influence on audit quality. We measure audit quality by the level of a firm’s abnormal accruals and its propensity to meet or beat an earnings target. We also find that the 2005 adoption of a new audit quality enforcement system that includes ‘naming and shaming’ does not reduce the influence of audit partner style on financial reporting quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalAbacus
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021

Keywords

  • audit quality
  • auditor style
  • engagement partner
  • Germany
  • reputation
  • review partner

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