The Impact of Long-term Audit Engagement on the Reception of a Qualified Audit Report: Empirical Analysis
Emiliano Ruiz Barbadillo
Nieves Gómez Aguilar
Estibaliz Biedma López
Critics of the auditing profession have often suggested a policy of mandatory rotation of audit firms as a way of countering their perception that long-term relationships between auditors and their clients impede the independence and professional scepticism of the auditors. The auditing profession has maintained that the mandatory rotation would be expensive and would, in fact, increase the number of audit failures. What is needed in this important policy debate is independent evidence to support or refute the merits of the opposing arguments. Both the proponents of rotation and the opponents have vested interests that render arguments suspect in the absence of such evidence. This paper aims to analyse the impact of long-term audit mandates in auditor reporting behaviour decisions. The results of this study suggest that long-term auditor-client relationships increase the likelihood of a qualified opinion. It means that mandatory audit firm rotation is an unnecessary auditor independence safeguard, which supports the audit profession’s arguments.
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