Auditor Tenure, Auditor Rotation and Audit Quality: A Review

Abstract

The arguments on auditor tenure and rotation revolved around ensuring auditor independence and promoting audit quality. Two hypotheses tend to explain the effect of longer auditor tenure. The auditor independence hypothesis argues that longer tenure decreases audit quality and financial reporting because of the impairment of auditor’s independence while the expertise hypothesis posits that longer tenure improves audit quality through learning. Nevertheless, the auditor tenure be long enough for auditors to bring their competence and expertise into the auditing process and also familiarize with the audited firm and environment. Apart from the few countries where there have mandatory audit rotations, it is still under experimentation in many other countries Moreover, the results of the impact of audit firm/partner rotation on audit quality have been mixed and inconclusive. And specifically, one of the leading advocates for mandatory auditor rotation through the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, the United States, has recently made a U-turn through appropriate amendment to the mandatory rotation of the audit firm in 2013.However, in April,2014 the European Union parliament voted in favour of 2011 proposal to force European companies to hire new auditors after six years with a four year cooling period. Therefore, we conclude that the mixed evidence and the recent regulatory changes on auditor rotation provide opportunities for future studies on auditor tenure, auditor rotation and audit quality.

Keywords: Audit Firm, Audit Partner, Audit Quality, Auditor Independence, Auditor Rotation, Auditor Tenure

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 76-96 (Download PDF)

Creative Commons Licence
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License