Do Investors Care Who Did the Audit? Evidence from Form AP

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In early 2017, the PCAOB mandated the disclosure of audit participants, including the lead audit partner and other audit firms participating in the audit (“component auditors”). In this study, we examine whether investors use these disclosures in a way that influences their investment decisions, a primary goal of the PCAOB. Using trading volume, absolute abnormal returns, and bid-ask spreads, we find little evidence of a significant investor response following the disclosure of partner identity or component auditor participation in the first three years of the requirement. We also examine instances where these disclosures are most likely to be informative (e.g., partners associated with restatements or component auditors with PCAOB deficiencies) and find no significant investor response. Taken together, we find little evidence that capital markets respond to partner and component auditor identity in the United States.

Audit participants, Form AP
Doxey, M.M., Lawson, J.G., Lopez, T.J. and Swanquist, Q.T. (2021), Do Investors Care Who Did the Audit? Evidence from Form AP. Journal of Accounting Research, 59: 1741-1782.