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Evidence on the association between financial restatements and auditor resignations

Accounting Horizons. November 22, 2012

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Financial restatements have significant implications for auditor-client relationships. We estimate that a restatement increases the odds of an auditor resignation dramatically. Restatements involving fraud, reversing profit to loss and those disclosed in press releases appear to drive the increased resignation likelihood. Further, companies with relatively severe restatements are more likely to hire smaller auditors following a resignation. Collectively, these results are consistent with auditors interpreting restatements as an indication of increased client risk.