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Employment by Clients of Former CPAs from Different non Audit Services Departments on Auditor Independence
Philip Law1; Desmond Yuen2
2010
Source PublicationCorporate Ownership and Control
ISSN1727-9232
Volume7Issue:4Pages:153-169
Abstract

It is not uncommon for auditors to accept employment with their clients upon leaving their audit firm, but regulators have expressed concerns that this may impair auditor independence. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of Hong Kong “Big 4” CPAs and the fund managers (users) of the impact of the employment by clients of former CPAs from different non audit services (NASs) departments on auditor independence. The time lapse between a CPA leaving the audit firm and taking up employment with a former client is also examined. To cover the most important issues and gaps in the literature, two within-subjects independent variables – types of NASs departments and the timelapse factor – and one between-subject independent variable – “Big 4” CPAs versus users – are examined. This Hong Kong research is the first study to encompass these variables in a study in the post-Enron environment. A mixed ANOVA was employed to analyse the perceptions of 235 “Big 4” CPAs and 185 fund managers (users). Results show that former CPAs coming from different NASs departments have an influence on perceptions of auditor independence. However, the direction of the relationship may be positive or negative. The results show that former CPAs coming from compliance services and risk management departments enhance perceptions of independence whereas transaction services (due diligence) and corporate finance departments undermine independence. This study does support the earlier finding that NASs may increase the value of the auditor to the client (Goldman and Barlev, 1974; Gul, 1989). Second, the longer the lapse of time between a CPA departing from the audit firm and joining the audit client was, the greater the perceived auditor independence was. An interval of one year seems to be a reasonable time for independence to be preserved. Third, there is an interaction effect between the time-lapse factor and the types of NASs departments on perceptions of independence. When the time lapse between a CPA leaving the audit firm and joining the client is less than one year, audit clients should be restricted from employing CPAs from the transaction services (due diligence) and corporate finance departments of the audit firm. Finally, there are significant differences in the overall perceptions of auditor independence held by the CPA and users groups, with the CPA group ratings being higher for all types of services provided and all time lapse intervals. It may be the expectation gap that results in this difference in perception, but further research is needed to validate this theory.

KeywordEmployment With Audit Clients Auditor Independence Non Audit Services Expectation Gap
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.22495/cocv7i4c1p1
URLView the original
Language英语
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Document TypeJournal article
CollectionDEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Corresponding AuthorPhilip Law
Affiliation1.University of Macau, Taipa, Macau
2.Department of Accounting and Information Management, University of Macau, Macau
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Corresponding Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Philip Law,Desmond Yuen. Employment by Clients of Former CPAs from Different non Audit Services Departments on Auditor Independence[J]. Corporate Ownership and Control,2010,7(4):153-169.
APA Philip Law,&Desmond Yuen.(2010).Employment by Clients of Former CPAs from Different non Audit Services Departments on Auditor Independence.Corporate Ownership and Control,7(4),153-169.
MLA Philip Law,et al."Employment by Clients of Former CPAs from Different non Audit Services Departments on Auditor Independence".Corporate Ownership and Control 7.4(2010):153-169.
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