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Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Accounting

Advisor's Name

Dasaratha Rama

Advisor's Title

Co-Chair

Advisor's Name

Kannan Raghunandan

Advisor's Title

Co-Chair

Advisor's Name

Suchismita Mishra

Advisor's Name

Abhijit Barua

Keywords

Auditor ratification, audit committee, earnings management, audit fees, audit market competition

Date of Defense

6-18-2009

Abstract

In my dissertation, I examine factors associated with firms’ submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification and test if shareholder ratification of auditor selection is associated with the extent of price competition in the audit market (as measured by audit fees) and audit quality (as measured by clients’ earnings management). The dissertation is motivated from the recent recommendation of the U.S. Treasury’s Advisory Committee on Auditing Profession (ACAP) regarding the submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification votes. The ACAP suggests that this practice may improve the competition in the audit market; yet, there is no empirical evidence supporting the ACAP’s recommendation. My dissertation attempts to fill the gap in the literature on an issue of current interest to the auditing profession.

I find that firm size, CEO-Chair duality, insider ownership and institutional ownership are associated with the submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification vote. However, I do not find an association between audit committee variables and the submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification vote.

The second essay investigates the association between auditor ratification and audit fees. Audit fees are higher in firms that submit auditor selection for shareholder ratification. The finding is not consistent with the increased price competition predicted by the ACAP.

The third essay of my dissertation examine whether the submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification is associated with earnings management. I find that firms that submit auditor selection for shareholder ratification are more likely to have lower level of earnings management.

Overall, the results suggest that the same factors that are associated with higher quality monitoring also may be associated with the submission of auditor selection for shareholder ratification vote. The results call into question the one-size-fits-all approach recommended by the ACAP.

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