Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Kannan Raghunandan

First Advisor's Committee Title


Second Advisor's Name

Dasaratha Rama

Second Advisor's Committee Title



Global audit market; IFRS; Auditor Switching; Audit Fees; Big 4 Global Networks

Date of Defense



Ongoing debates within the professional and academic communities have raised a number of questions specific to the international audit market. This dissertation consists of three related essays that address such issues. First, I examine whether the propensity to switch between auditors of different sizes (i.e., Big 4 versus non-Big 4) changes as adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) becomes a more common phenomenon, arguing that smaller auditors have an opportunity to invest in necessary skills and training needed to enter this market. Findings suggest that clients are relatively less (more) likely to switch to (away from) a Big 4 auditor if the client’s adoption of IFRS occurs in more recent years.

In the second essay, I draw on these inferences and test whether the change in audit fees in the year of IFRS adoption changes over time. As the market becomes less concentrated, larger auditors becomes less able to demand a premium for their services. Consistent with my arguments, results suggest that the change in audit service fees declines over time, although this effect seems concentrated among the Big 4. I also find that this effect is partially attributable to a differential effect of the auditors’ experience in pricing audit services related to IFRS based on the period in which adoption occurs. The results of these two essays offer important implications to policy debates on the costs and benefits of IFRS adoption.

In the third essay, I differentiate Big 4 auditors into three classifications—Parent firms, Brand Name affiliates, and Local affiliates—and test for differences in audit fee premiums (relative to non-Big 4 auditors) and audit quality. Results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity between the three classifications based on both of these characteristics, which is an important consideration for future research. Overall, this dissertation provides additional insights into a variety of aspects of the global audit market.





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