Skip to main content

An analysis of Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and auditors’ going concern opinions

Benjamin P. Foster, PhD T. Shastri D. Barney
Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives. June 1, 2019


Analyses of public companies that filed for bankruptcy from 2008 to 2012 indicate that Chapter 7 filers are significantly more distressed than Chapter 11 filers. Auditors are more likely to issue going-concern modifications to companies that later file under Chapter 7, rather than Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. This study offers evidence to support professional standard setters’ continued evaluation of, and attempts at improving, standards related to going-concern assessment and reporting. In addition, because certain creditors and/or investors suffer financial losses differently depending on bankruptcy filing type, our results could be useful to financial statement users.