This paper examines the reaction of clients of "non-Big Eight" audit firms to mergers of their auditors with "Big Eight" firms. We postulate that a non-Big Eight audit firm's clients will retain a Big Eight acquirer following a merger if they benefit from the Big Eight firm's specialized services and/or reputation. Clients that do not have these economic incentives to retain the Big Eight firm are more likely to change to another non-Big Eight audit firm following the merger. Empirical tests of the characteristics of clients that remain with a Big Eight acquirer or change to another smaller auditor following an audit merger generally support our hypotheses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science