Audit quality and the market value of cash holdings : The case of office-level auditor industry specialization

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

16 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-57
Journal / PublicationAuditing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


This study investigates the monitoring role of high-quality auditors defined as office-level industry specialists in the stock market valuation of cash assets. We find that the market value of cash holdings is significantly higher for the client of an industry specialist auditor. The marginal value of cash is 34 cents higher for the client of a jointindustry specialist at both the national and city levels than for the client of a nonspecialist. We also find that cash holdings are more closely associated with capital investment and the market value of capital investment is significantly higher when the auditor is a jointindustry specialist. Moreover, we find that the value of cash increases significantly when the client changes its auditor to a joint-industry specialist. Our findings hold even after controlling for the client’s governance efficacy and financial reporting quality. Our results provide new insight into the mechanism through which high-quality audits affect firm value: External audits facilitate shareholders’ monitoring over managerial cash expenditures, thereby leading market participants to attach a higher value to cash holdings.

Research Area(s)

  • Audit quality, Auditor industry specialization, Capital expenditures, Cash holdings, Cash management efficiency