题 目：Audit Committee Equity Compensation and Auditor Selection and Retention
报 告 人：刘馨茗 助理教授
主 持 人：张国清 教授
论文摘要：Section 301 of SOX assumes that audit committees can independently exercise their responsibility for auditor selection and retention in the post-SOX period. However, there is little empirical evidence supporting this assumption. We examine whether equity compensation induces audit committees to compromise independence in making their auditor selection and retention decisions. Using a sample of 6,697 firm-year observations during 2007-2015, we find a negative relation between audit committee equity compensation and selection of an industry expert auditor. We also document that audit committees that receive larger equity compensation are more likely to dismiss their auditors when the auditors issue an unfavorable audit opinion, and that the earnings quality of firms that dismiss their auditors decreases. The negative relation between equity compensation and audit committee independence is robust to controlling for endogeneity, Lennox’s (2000) opinion shopping framework, alternative definitions of an industry expert auditor, alternative measures of equity compensation, and alternative samples. However, this negative relation does not exist when firms face high litigation risk, the AC chair is less powerful than the CFO, and the audit committee comprises a high proportion of accounting experts. Our empirical results bear important implications for recent regulations and standards.