Insights into Auditor Public Oversight Boards: Whether, How, and Why they 'Work'

84 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2020 Last revised: 24 May 2021

See all articles by Michelle Hanlon

Michelle Hanlon

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Nemit Shroff

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: May 18, 2021

Abstract

We survey 170 inspectors, representing 27% of the inspection staff, from auditor public oversight boards (POBs) in 20 countries to understand whether, how, and why auditors change auditing practices in response to POB oversight. We ask about several theories and areas in the literature. We find that a large majority of POB inspectors believe that auditors frequently respond to inspector feedback by changing audit procedures and quality control systems. Inspectors perceive inspections to have broad effects on several aspects of auditing, ranging from documentation, scrutiny of management estimates, and training to changes in firm culture and even the removal of low-quality partners from public company audit engagements. Inspectors think that the primary reasons why auditors respond to their feedback are 1) POB enforcement capabilities, 2) the perceived authority of the POBs, 3) public disclosure of inspection findings, and 4) that POBs have a culture conducive to detecting auditing deficiencies.

Keywords: Audit regulation, PCAOB, Audit quality, Enforcement, Disclosure

JEL Classification: M41, M42, K22

Suggested Citation

Hanlon, Michelle and Shroff, Nemit, Insights into Auditor Public Oversight Boards: Whether, How, and Why they 'Work' (May 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3527584 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3527584

Michelle Hanlon

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

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Nemit Shroff (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

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Cambridge, MA MA 02142
United States
6173240805 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/detail.php?in_spseqno=51407&co_list=F

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