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Audit fees, audit report lag and abnormal tone: evidence from China

Zhong-Lu Teng (Institute of Chinese Financial Studies, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Jin Han (School of Economics and Management, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Chongqing, China)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 19 October 2022

Issue publication date: 20 January 2023




This study aims to provide evidence on the association between abnormal tone and audit fees, as well as between abnormal tone and audit report lag.


This study uses a fixed-effects model to examine the relationship between abnormal positive tone and audit engagement (audit fees and audit report lag). Following Blanco et al., the authors used propensity score matching to examine the robustness of the findings.


Abnormal positive tone affects the audit process. An abnormal positive tone in annual reports is associated with greater audit effort and higher audit fees.


This study contributes to the determinants of audit fees and audit lag by analyzing the impact of an abnormal positive tone on audit engagement. The literature analyzing the determinants of audit engagement often focuses on the quality of non-textual information. This study analyzes the impact of the quality of textual information (measured by abnormal tone) on audit engagement, which provides evidence of the association between textual disclosure and audit.



This paper supported by Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences (No. Y2021JG01).


Teng, Z.-L. and Han, J. (2023), "Audit fees, audit report lag and abnormal tone: evidence from China", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 186-205.



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