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  • 1.
    Alexeyeva, Irina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Svanström, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The impact of the global financial crisis on audit and non-audit fees: evidence from Sweden2015In: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735, Vol. 30, no 4-5, p. 302-323Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The paper aims to investigate audit and non-audit fees during the global financial crisis (GFC) in an environment that is relatively sparsely regulated with regard to the provision of non-audit services.

    Design/methodology/approach: Audit and non-audit fees were studied during pre-GFC (2006-2007), GFC (2008-2009) and post-GFC (2010-2011) periods.

    Findings: During the GFC, Swedish companies benefited from an increase in sales and total assets, although return on assets decreased. In this setting, the auditors charged higher audit fees compared with the pre-GFC period, despite the absence of increased audit reporting lags. A significant increase in audit fees continued during the post-crisis periods with auditors paying more attention to companies’ leverage and whether they report losses. At the same time, the companies spent less on non-audit services.

    Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to companies from Sweden, which was less affected by the GFC.

    Practical implications: GFC auditors are able to charge higher audit fees to public companies including those that are well-performing during financial crises, and they are also able to increase the audit fees in the post-crisis period. This implies that auditors put in extra audit effort to compensate for higher risk, or that they are good at negotiating prices with their clients. However, non-audit fees decreased during the same period, implying that the demand for these services drops under financial instability.

    Originality/value: The study highlights auditors’ behavior in the liberal economic environment and it studies both audit fees and non-audit fees before GFC, during GFC and after the GFC. The GFC appears to have provided audit firms the opportunity to extract higher audit fees. Our findings are of interest to managers, auditors and regulators.

  • 2. Che, Limei
    et al.
    Svanström, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway.
    Team composition and labor allocation in audit teams: a descriptive note2019In: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 514-544Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe, illustrate and provide a deeper understanding of team composition and labor allocation in audit teams by quantifying the exact value of resources at different levels of the audit production. Audit teams have been considered as a black box in audit research. Therefore, this paper reports descriptive statistics on (levels and proportions of) hours and costs allocated to auditor ranks (and the number and value, i.e. billing rates, of auditors for different ranks and the entire team) to shed new light on audit teams. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a proprietary data set containing disaggregated information on hours, costs and billing rates for each team member in each of 908 audit engagements. The data are provided by a Swedish Big 4 audit firm. The study uses a purely descriptive approach and categorizes auditors into seven ranks. As size and the publicly listed status are crucial determinants of audit production, the paper splits engagements in public and private companies and reports statistics for size quartiles of both public and private clients. Findings The paper provides descriptive statistics for (1) client size, (2) audit team members, (3) audit hours, (4) audit costs, (5) proportion of audit hours, (6) proportion of audit costs, (7) billing rates and (8) variation of billing rates. Results show that compared to private clients, the audit firm allocates higher effort from auditors in higher ranks and lower effort from auditors in lower ranks to public clients. Another finding is that allocation varies with client size for private clients, but less so for public clients. Originality/value In an area with sparse literature, this descriptive study serves as a first step to improve our understanding and guide future research. It provides concrete support for previously known theory.

  • 3. Che, Limei
    et al.
    Svanström, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Team Composition and Labour Allocation in Audit Teams: A Descriptive NoteIn: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Franck, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Determinants of internal governance quality: evidence from Sweden2012In: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735, Vol. 27, no 7, p. 639-665Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess whether ownership concentration, leverage and demand for equity financing is associated with internal corporate governance quality. The paper focuses on dimensions of governance quality that are related to financial reporting quality.

    Design/methodology/approach – The authors measure internal governance quality by an indicator variable that takes on higher values depending on whether a company has an audit committee, has a sufficient number of audit committee meetings during the year, has financial expertise on the audit committee, has an internal auditing function, a risk management function, a code of conduct and whistle blower provisions in the code of conduct. The sample consists of 91 Swedish listed companies of which 39 companies had to follow the Swedish Corporate Governance Code. The development of hypotheses is based on agency theory. Ordered logistic regressions are used to test the hypotheses.

    Findings – The paper finds a strong negative association between leverage and the internal governance quality score for companies that do not have to follow the Corporate Governance Code. The paper also finds a positive association between the governance quality score and dispersed ownership among companies that have to follow the code.

    Research limitations/implications – The negative association between leverage and governance quality is opposite to the typical agency theory prediction. A number of other studies have also documented negative or insignificant associations with leverage in related settings. The research suggests there is a demand to develop theories related to leverage and the implementation of governance characteristics beyond the typical agency theory based predictions.

    Practical implications – The results raise the question whether lenders more actively directly or indirectly should influence the governance quality of borrowers.

    Originality/value – Based on the conjecture that governance quality increases with the number of governance elements, the paper studies a governance score that is built up by several elements of good corporate governance. Furthermore, the authors study a setting dominated by voluntary choices of governance quality, which makes it possible to study supply effects.

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