The provision of nonaudit services by accounting firms to their audit clients

Michael Arthur FIRTH

    Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

    100 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There has been a strong growth in accounting firms' provisions of nonaudit services to their audit clients. To date, however, there have been few studies into the determinants of this joint provision of audit and nonaudit services. One reason for the paucity of research is the lack of publicly available data with which to empirically examine relationships and test theories. However, recent legislation in the United Kingdom requires publication of nonaudit fees paid to a company's auditor, and this disclosure provides the data with which to investigate the joint provision of consultancy and audit services. A model is developed that seeks to explain a company's decision to hire nonaudit services from the auditor. The model argues that companies that face potentially high agency costs purchase relatively smaller amounts of nonaudit services from their auditor. High agency-cost companies require independent audits in order to reassure investors and creditors; the provision of joint services, which increases the economic bonding of the auditor to the client, may jeopardize independence or the appearance of independence. The model is tested using data observations from 500 companies, and the results indicate that companies that have higher agency-cost proxies are associated with smaller purchases of nonaudit services from their auditors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    JournalContemporary Accounting Research
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

    Fingerprint

    Accounting firms
    Nonaudit services
    Audit
    Auditors
    Agency costs
    Purchase
    Disclosure
    Legislation
    Non-audit fees
    Consultancy
    Investors
    Economics

    Cite this

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    title = "The provision of nonaudit services by accounting firms to their audit clients",
    abstract = "There has been a strong growth in accounting firms' provisions of nonaudit services to their audit clients. To date, however, there have been few studies into the determinants of this joint provision of audit and nonaudit services. One reason for the paucity of research is the lack of publicly available data with which to empirically examine relationships and test theories. However, recent legislation in the United Kingdom requires publication of nonaudit fees paid to a company's auditor, and this disclosure provides the data with which to investigate the joint provision of consultancy and audit services. A model is developed that seeks to explain a company's decision to hire nonaudit services from the auditor. The model argues that companies that face potentially high agency costs purchase relatively smaller amounts of nonaudit services from their auditor. High agency-cost companies require independent audits in order to reassure investors and creditors; the provision of joint services, which increases the economic bonding of the auditor to the client, may jeopardize independence or the appearance of independence. The model is tested using data observations from 500 companies, and the results indicate that companies that have higher agency-cost proxies are associated with smaller purchases of nonaudit services from their auditors.",
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    The provision of nonaudit services by accounting firms to their audit clients. / FIRTH, Michael Arthur.

    In: Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 14, No. 2, 01.01.1997, p. 1-21.

    Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

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    AB - There has been a strong growth in accounting firms' provisions of nonaudit services to their audit clients. To date, however, there have been few studies into the determinants of this joint provision of audit and nonaudit services. One reason for the paucity of research is the lack of publicly available data with which to empirically examine relationships and test theories. However, recent legislation in the United Kingdom requires publication of nonaudit fees paid to a company's auditor, and this disclosure provides the data with which to investigate the joint provision of consultancy and audit services. A model is developed that seeks to explain a company's decision to hire nonaudit services from the auditor. The model argues that companies that face potentially high agency costs purchase relatively smaller amounts of nonaudit services from their auditor. High agency-cost companies require independent audits in order to reassure investors and creditors; the provision of joint services, which increases the economic bonding of the auditor to the client, may jeopardize independence or the appearance of independence. The model is tested using data observations from 500 companies, and the results indicate that companies that have higher agency-cost proxies are associated with smaller purchases of nonaudit services from their auditors.

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