The Choice Between Audit and Consulting Services in the Post-SOX Environment

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/145472
Title:
The Choice Between Audit and Consulting Services in the Post-SOX Environment
Author:
Gal-Or, Ronen
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
I examine factors influencing accounting firms' and their clients' decisions to pursue an auditing vs. consulting relationship. I employ the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) prohibition on providing both services to the same clients as a natural experiment. Because Deloitte & Touche was the only Big 4 firm to retain its consulting division post-SOX, I compare Deloitte's client switch and retention decisions to those made by its direct competitors. In this context, I investigate how the decision to continue or terminate an audit relationship is influenced by auditor industry specialization, the historical provision of auditor-provided consulting services and the likelihood that the client will require consulting services in the future. I find that there is a preference for auditing when the auditor is a specialist in the client's industry, and there is a preference for consulting when the auditor provided consulting services in the past and the client is likely to require consulting services in the future. I also report empirical evidence on audit effectiveness and efficiency in cases where the auditor and its client discontinued the audit in order to maintain a consulting relationship. Although there was no impact on audit effectiveness, the auditor switches reduced efficiency as evidenced by significantly higher audit fees. This study is relevant to the current audit environment because public accounting firms that spun-off their consulting divisions around the enactment of SOX are in the process of rebuilding their consulting practices and must now choose between providing audit and consulting services to their clients. It may also be pertinent to European policy makers who are currently considering a proposal to limit auditors' ability to jointly offer audit and consulting services to the same client.
Type:
Electronic Dissertation; text
Keywords:
Audit Efficiency; Auditor Provided Consulting Services; Audit Quality; Consulting Division Spinoffs; Industry Specialization; Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Accounting
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Dhaliwal, Dan; Felix, William

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleThe Choice Between Audit and Consulting Services in the Post-SOX Environmenten_US
dc.creatorGal-Or, Ronenen_US
dc.contributor.authorGal-Or, Ronenen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractI examine factors influencing accounting firms' and their clients' decisions to pursue an auditing vs. consulting relationship. I employ the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) prohibition on providing both services to the same clients as a natural experiment. Because Deloitte & Touche was the only Big 4 firm to retain its consulting division post-SOX, I compare Deloitte's client switch and retention decisions to those made by its direct competitors. In this context, I investigate how the decision to continue or terminate an audit relationship is influenced by auditor industry specialization, the historical provision of auditor-provided consulting services and the likelihood that the client will require consulting services in the future. I find that there is a preference for auditing when the auditor is a specialist in the client's industry, and there is a preference for consulting when the auditor provided consulting services in the past and the client is likely to require consulting services in the future. I also report empirical evidence on audit effectiveness and efficiency in cases where the auditor and its client discontinued the audit in order to maintain a consulting relationship. Although there was no impact on audit effectiveness, the auditor switches reduced efficiency as evidenced by significantly higher audit fees. This study is relevant to the current audit environment because public accounting firms that spun-off their consulting divisions around the enactment of SOX are in the process of rebuilding their consulting practices and must now choose between providing audit and consulting services to their clients. It may also be pertinent to European policy makers who are currently considering a proposal to limit auditors' ability to jointly offer audit and consulting services to the same client.en_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.subjectAudit Efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectAuditor Provided Consulting Servicesen_US
dc.subjectAudit Qualityen_US
dc.subjectConsulting Division Spinoffsen_US
dc.subjectIndustry Specializationen_US
dc.subjectSarbanes-Oxley Acten_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAccountingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDhaliwal, Danen_US
dc.contributor.advisorFelix, Williamen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCook, Kirstenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWaller, Williamen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11570-
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.