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The effect of SOX on audit quality

Moo Sung Kim (College of Business, Zayed University – Abu Dhabi Campus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Jagadish Dandu (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Perihan Iren (College of Business, Zayed University – Abu Dhabi Campus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 2 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate two issues. First, the authors test the effect of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) on audit quality after 10 years. Second, the authors test whether it was necessary to close all of the Arthur Andersen offices due to the misbehavior of a few (e.g. the Houston and Atlanta offices).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have used conservatism (Basu) as a proxy for audit quality.

Findings

The authors find that, over the long run (10 years) after SOX adoption, there is a significant positive change in conservatism as compared to during the previous similar period. In addition, the authors find that only 6 of the 20 city-level offices of Arthur Andersen were less conservative than were their other Big 6 competitors in the same city. Furthermore, the results also suggest that some city-level offices of Arthur Andersen were engaged in more conservative accounting practices than were their competitors and the Houston Andersen offices.

Originality/value

This study documents, using empirical evidence, that the implementation of SOX is successful, and that one factor that helped lead to this success might be the harsh punishment on Arthur Andersen.

Keywords

Citation

Kim, M.S., Dandu, J. and Iren, P. (2019), "The effect of SOX on audit quality", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 897-909. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-08-2018-0088

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited