Executive characteristics and going concern opinions

Angie Abdel Zaher, Florida International University


Auditors have come under increased scrutiny over the past several years about the growing number of client failures without a warning in the form of a going-concern modified (GCM) audit opinion. Statement on Auditing Standards No. 59 requires auditors to evaluate whether substantial doubt exists on an audit client’s ability to continue as a going concern (AICPA 1988). My dissertation consists of three essays. ^ For the three essays, I empirically investigate issues related to GCM audit opinions and executive characteristics. Specifically, I examine the impact of executive tenure and gender on the issuance of GCM audit opinions. In addition, my dissertation addresses two other unique issues. Given that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act represents an important watershed event in the history and regulation of the accounting profession, I provide evidence about auditors’ propensities to issue GCM audit opinions in the post-SOX period. Further, I also expand extant research in this area by using multiple outcomes and thus go beyond the traditional use of bankruptcy alone as a tool to evaluate auditors’ GCM opinion. ^ The results indicate that, after controlling for other financial characteristics, GCM audit opinions are significantly more likely for firms that have CFOs with short tenure and/or for firms with a female CFO or CEO. However, when examining the association between executive characteristics and two types of reporting errors, the results vary with the type of reporting error. Overall, the results provide evidence that executive characteristics are associated with auditors' reporting decisions. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Accounting

Recommended Citation

Abdel Zaher, Angie, "Executive characteristics and going concern opinions" (2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3393499.