The Challenge of Measuring Audit Quality: Some Evidence

International Journal of Critical Accounting, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2014, pp. 345-374

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 Last revised: 28 Jan 2015

See all articles by Marius Gros

Marius Gros

Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences; Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Accounting and Auditing

Daniel Worret

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Accounting and Auditing

Date Written: February 3, 2014

Abstract

Recent proposals on audit regulation, whether in the EU or by the PCAOB, have been motivated by efforts to increase audit quality. However, there does not exist any generally agreed upon definition of audit quality. This paper aims to critically assess the status quo of the discussion regarding audit quality and its operationalisation in empirical research. We show that the applied audit quality surrogate is able to drive research findings. Conducting a correlation analysis, we find that some of the proxies are not positively correlated at statistically significant levels and thus seem not to be fully consistent with each other. Moreover, we find that significance levels of various influence factors on audit quality vary depending on the applied audit quality surrogate. Therefore, we point to the fact that researchers as well as practitioners and policymakers have to be careful when using and interpreting research findings that apply different audit quality.

Keywords: audit quality; accounting quality; empirical audit research; opinion shopping; audit regulation; evidence-based regulation; earnings management; discretionary accruals; critical accounting

JEL Classification: M41, M42

Suggested Citation

Gros, Marius F. and Worret, Daniel, The Challenge of Measuring Audit Quality: Some Evidence (February 3, 2014). International Journal of Critical Accounting, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2014, pp. 345-374, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365744 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2365744

Marius F. Gros

Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Germany

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Accounting and Auditing ( email )

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt
Germany

Daniel Worret (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Accounting and Auditing ( email )

Mertonstr. 17-25
60325 Frankfurt
Germany

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