Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Terry L. Neal
Donald J. Bruce, Joeseph V. Carcello, Daniel P. Murphy
Prior literature’s inability to document an empirical relation between non-audit service fees and compromised auditor independence contradicts the significant and long-standing concerns expressed by regulators and the investing community. The purpose of this paper is to reconcile the lack of findings in prior research with regulators’ and investors’ concerns about non-audit services. Using a new measure – goodwill impairments – that alleviates many of the potential limitations that could have prevented prior research from documenting evidence to support the proposed relation between non-audit services and auditor independence, I find that the level of non-audit fees of a client is negatively associated with the likelihood of recording a goodwill impairment in settings where the market indicates goodwill may be impaired. Further examinations of these findings suggest that the lack of results in prior literature could be related to limitations in the settings being tested in those papers.
Shipman, Jonathan Edward, "Do Non-Audit Fees Impair Auditor Independence? Using Goodwill Accounting to Help Reconcile the Debate. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2014.