Does Mandatory IFRS Adoption Affect Audit Hours and the Effectiveness to Constrain Earnings Management? Evidence from Italy
Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Forthcoming; doi: 10.2308/AJPT-18-061
50 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2021
Date Written: May 3, 2021
We examine the effect IFRS adoption has had on audit effort and the effectiveness of greater audit effort on constraining earnings management. While prior studies have examined the costs of IFRS adoption, it is unclear whether IFRS adoption affects audit effort and whether extra audit effort results in higher audit quality. We find that following Italy’s adoption of IFRS, audit hours (but not the hourly rate) increased, suggesting that audit effort (in audit hours) increased following IFRS adoption. We then examine whether more audit hours are associated with improved audit quality in the IFRS regime. Consistent with prior literature, we find that more audit effort is associated with lower abnormal accruals in the period before IFRS adoption. Interestingly, after Italy adopted IFRS, abnormal accruals are lower, but audit hours were less associated with lower abnormal accruals, implying that more audit hours are needed to constrain earnings management. Collectively, our empirical analysis suggests that while audit effort increased with mandatory IFRS adoption, the effectiveness of audit effort to constrain earnings management decreased.
Keywords: IFRS, Audit hours, Audit Effort, Earnings Quality, Audit Quality
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