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External auditor type, discretionary accruals and investors’ reactions

Sara Abdallah (The British University in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt)

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2042-1168

Article publication date: 11 July 2018

Issue publication date: 3 August 2018




The purpose of this paper is to investigate, in an Egyptian context, the external auditor type (Big 4 vs local) implications on reporting quality proxied by discretionary accruals (DA) and also examine whether auditor type impacts the market’s pricing of DA, where pricing is considered a proxy for the perceived DA quality.


The sample period is 2012–2015, that is meant to be post the Egyptian revolution financial crisis; all Egyptian stock exchange (EGX) listed firms (except banks and financial institutions) are considered. DA are estimated using modified Dichev and Dechow’s (2002) model (McNicholas, 2002). Ordinary least squares regression tests are used to investigate the external auditor type implications on DA level and the related EGX investors’ pricing.


The findings generally show the external auditor’s minimal role in mitigating DA. Moreover, the findings reflect the EGX investors’ negligence and/or lack of confidence in regards to DA and external auditor type factors in stock pricing.

Practical implications

The paper findings highlight to regulators the need for effective monitoring of audit firms earnings management mitigation performance to help reinforce investor confidence in financial reporting quality.


This paper is the first that investigates the external auditor monitoring mechanism implications on investors’ perceptions of earnings quality in Egypt. The paper findings would provide important contributions, particularly post the Egyptian revolution crisis, where the EGX market is trying to restore the investors’ confidence.



Abdallah, S. (2018), "External auditor type, discretionary accruals and investors’ reactions", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 352-368.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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