Does Availability of Audit Partners Affect Audit Quality? Evidence from China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationJournal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance
Online published22 Dec 2019
Publication statusOnline published - 22 Dec 2019

Abstract

In this study, we examine whether Chinese CPA firms with more partners available to perform audit engagements deliver higher quality services. Based on a sample of 2,990 company-year observations over the period 2002–2015, we find that CPA firms with smaller staff-partner ratios are associated with a lower likelihood of restatements of their clients’ financial statements. Interestingly, we find this association is less evident when engagement partners have excessive workloads, suggesting the need to balance workloads across partners within a firm. Overall, our results highlight the importance of considering partner availability and its impacts on audit quality, which echo regulators’ growing concern about the inadequate mix of audit experience, expertise, and supervision within CPA firms. Our study is timely and the results are informative to the recent policy debate. From a public policy perspective, our results suggest that CPA firms should be required to disclose information about the deployment of audit partners to help financial statement users make inferences about the quality of their work.

Research Area(s)

  • staff-partner ratio, auditor availability, audit quality, partner workload