The Validity of Publicly Available Measures of Audit Quality: Evidence from the PCAOB Inspection Data

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

This study investigates the ability of several commonly used measures of audit quality derived from publicly available data to predict an accurate measure of audit process quality derived from audit deficiencies of individual engagements identified during the PCAOB inspections process (Part I Findings). Using a unique dataset of inspected engagements, I find that several measures of audit quality used in prior literature are predictive of audit deficiencies, consistent with these measures conveying audit quality. However, I do not find any association between going concern opinions and Part I Findings, consistent with opposite forces that may influence the auditor actions related to issuance of a going concern opinion. I also find that the collective predictive power of publicly available measures of audit quality on Part I Findings is reasonably low, perhaps because many output-based measures are a joint function of financial reporting and audit process quality, and input-based measures are difficult to estimate to begin with. Overall, these results provide some guidance to researchers about which measures of audit quality to use and suggest that some results in prior literature may need to be interpreted with caution.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Number of pages51
StatePublished - Feb 29 2016

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