Doctoral Dissertations


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Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Linda A. Myers

Committee Members

James N. Myers, Lauren M. Cunningham, Larry A. Fauver


In this study, I examine the extent to which auditor attributes affect the auditor’s decision to communicate a Critical Audit Matter (CAM) in the expanded auditor’s report. I expect the CAM communication decision to be adversely affected by threats to independence and by auditor overconfidence. I focus on a sample of companies that completed material mergers and acquisitions because these are likely to be considered as potential CAMs by meeting the minimal requirements of a CAM (i.e., material accounts or disclosures that involve especially challenging, subjective, or complex auditor judgment). Contrary to expectations, I find that the auditor’s CAM communication decision is influenced by the complexity of the M&A transaction and operations – a rather objective reason for communicating a CAM. While I find variation in CAM communication frequencies by the audit firm, I find little evidence suggesting that auditor attributes at the office- and firm-level affect the auditor’s CAM communication decision.

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