Government quality, auditor choice and adoption of IFRS: A cross country analysis
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We examine the association between country-level government quality and firms' choice of external auditors. Using a cross-sectional sample of 142,193 firm-year observations from 46 countries over 1998-2007, we show that the government quality of a country has a significant positive effect on the likelihood of choosing Big 4 auditors by firms in that country. We also show that firms in countries with strong governments that have adopted IFRS are more likely to choose Big 4 than non-Big 4 auditors. To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to provide direct evidence on the role of government quality in firms' choice of external auditors. Choice of a Big 4 auditor may be regarded as a proxy for the demand for high quality financial reporting, and thus the results provide insights for policy makers on the importance of government quality toward improving financial reporting quality in a country.
Advances in Accounting
Auditing and Accountability