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Auditor switching, earnings manipulation and auditor independence: Evidence from A-share listed companies in China


Based on data from Chinese A-share listed companies between 1999 and 2004, this paper examines the causes of auditor switching and its effects on the independence of successive auditors from the perspective of earnings manipulation. Results show that: (1) listed companies manipulate their earnings through replacing their auditor and the successive auditor fails to exercise necessary prudence; (2) for companies reporting profit in the year of auditor change, the formerly low discretionary accruals usually increase significantly after the switch mostly resulting from assets devaluation and adjustments to non-recurring items; (3) In contrast, for companies reporting losses in the year of auditor change, they take a “big bath” to adjust lower earnings of the same year. These findings indicate that auditor change is related to the conservatism of predecessor auditors and it damages the independence of successive auditors.


以 1999–2004 年间我国A막上市公司为样本, 对짳计师变更、盈余操纵与짳计师独立性之间的关系进行实证检验, 结果发现: (1) 上市公司能够通过更换짳计师达到操纵盈余的目的, 同时后任짳计师对此并未保持应有的뷷慎; (2) 变更짳计师当年报告盈利的公司, 其操控性应计利润在变更前相对较低, 而变更后得以显著增长, 且增长主要来自于对资产减值准备、非经常性损益项目的利润调节; (3) 与此相反, 变更짳计师当年报告뿷损的公司, 在变更当年存在调低收益的 “清洗” 活动。 上述结果表明: 짳计师变更与前任짳计师的稳健性有关, 且这种变更行为损害了后任짳计师的独立性。


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Correspondence to Wei Liu.

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Liu, W., Liu, X. Auditor switching, earnings manipulation and auditor independence: Evidence from A-share listed companies in China. Front. Bus. Res. China 2, 283–302 (2008).

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