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Do audit firm and audit cost/fee influence earnings management in Swedish municipalities?

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Pierre Donatella
Mattias Haraldsson
Torbjörn Tagesson
Publicerad i 40th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association 2017, 10-12 May, Valencia, Spain.
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Förvaltningshögskolan
Språk en
Ämnesord Audit cost, audit fee, audit firm, earnings management, municipality
Ämneskategorier Studier av offentlig förvaltning, Företagsekonomi

Sammanfattning

Previous research on the private sector shows that auditors and auditing firms are important actors in ensuring and institutionalising high quality reporting based on accrual- and principle-based accounting standards. The aim of this study is to explore whether audit firms and audit costs/fees influence Swedish municipalities probability of applying earnings management, by discretionary accruals, in their annual accounts. The empirical data, which covered the financial years 201 – 2013, were handpicked from annual reports or retrieved from other sources. In general, our study shows that the probability of earnings management increased if the audit cost/fees increased. However, there were differences regarding the probability of earnings management, depending on which audit firm was engaged. This implies that audit quality is a factor that affects the probability of earnings management in Swedish municipalities. The study also indicates that different audit firms make different trade-offs between professional versus commercial logics, and that this is reflected in the clients' propensity to engage in earnings management.

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