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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Magdy S. Farag and Rafik Z. Elias

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of public accounting firms' mix of service revenue on their average productivity measured by total revenue per partner.

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1955

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of public accounting firms' mix of service revenue on their average productivity measured by total revenue per partner.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from Public Accounting Report on top public accounting firms by revenue, an OLS regression model is applied by regressing revenue per partner on the percentage of revenue generated from auditing and attest, tax, management consulting, and other services independently.

Findings

Results show that the proportion of auditing and attest service revenue is negatively associated with public accounting firms' productivity. However, the proportion of other services revenue, other than tax and management consulting services, is positively associated with productivity. Additional investigation shows that if public accounting firms provide other services in their mix of services, then tax and management consulting services do not contribute to these public accounting firms' productivity.

Research limitations/implications

Results of this study cannot be generalized beyond the top 100 public accounting firms, and the measurement of revenue per partner ignores the exact number of partners within different service areas.

Practical implications

Although auditing and attest services are considered core services of public accounting firms, they do not increase the productivity of the firm.

Originality/value

This study helps in assessing whether average productivity of public accounting firms is affected by the proportion of a specific type of service in the post‐SOX era.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Venkataraman M. Iyer, K. Raghunandan and Dasaratha V. Rama

To examine if there are systematic gender‐based differences in the perceptions of accounting firm alumni about their experiences with accounting firms.

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1660

Abstract

Purpose

To examine if there are systematic gender‐based differences in the perceptions of accounting firm alumni about their experiences with accounting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Alumni of Big 4 firms' offices in two large cities in the USA are surveyed. The analysis is based on responses from 110 alumni who had left the firm within the previous ten years.

Findings

Results indicate that women are less likely than men to believe that their former accounting firms developed their abilities to think and express themselves; helped them learn to manage others; and trained them for their present job. Further, women rated the training, personnel evaluation, and counseling programs at their former accounting firms lower than did men. Women were less likely to recommend their former firm to friends and acquaintances, and less likely to inform the former accounting firm about opportunities or pitfalls.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations associated with survey research such as non‐response bias must be taken into account.

Practical implications

The results suggest that more efforts are needed to bridge the gender gap in the public accounting profession.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few that have examined alumni's perceptions about their former firm.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2006

Mazni Abdullah and Zamzulaila Zakaria

This study is conducted to identify which attributes that are considered important by accounting students of University of Malaya and International Islamic University of…

Abstract

This study is conducted to identify which attributes that are considered important by accounting students of University of Malaya and International Islamic University of Malaysia in the job selection process. The questionnaires which lists the attributes of public accounting firms are distributed to the accounting students and they were asked to rate each attribute on a 5 point Likert scale. The students’ demographic profile and their academic achievements (CGPA) are also analysed to determine their relationships with the preference in the subjects’ job selection. It is found that the students rank opportunity and advancement as the most important attributes followed by office atmosphere/friendliness of staff and firms’ training programme. The findings from this study might assist public accounting firms in developing policies that might attract more quality recruits. They can also be used by institutions of higher learning to give more appropriate career advice to students who are seeking for their first accounting job.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Steven C. Hall and Laurie S. Swinney

Prior research provides evidence that firms make accounting choices to avoid violation of debt covenant provisions and the resulting costs of technical default. We extend…

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1092

Abstract

Prior research provides evidence that firms make accounting choices to avoid violation of debt covenant provisions and the resulting costs of technical default. We extend this research by asking why some firms refrain from making accounting policy changes when faced with costs of technical default. We considered two possible explanations. First, we hypothesise that these defaulting firms may lack the flexibility to make accounting changes. Second, we hypothesise that these defaulting firms may lack incentive to change accounting methods. Results confirm prior research and indicate that defaulting firms make more accounting changes than non‐defaulting firms. The decision by defaulting firms to change or not change accounting methods during the three years ending in the year of a technical default of debt covenants can be explained in part by the ability of the firm and by the incentives of the firm to make a change.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Christie L. Comunale and Thomas R. Sexton

To explore the effects of mandatory auditor rotation and retention on the long‐term market shares of the accounting firms that audit the members of the Standard and Poor's…

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3516

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the effects of mandatory auditor rotation and retention on the long‐term market shares of the accounting firms that audit the members of the Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500.

Design/methodology/approach

A Markov model is constructed that depicts the movements of S&P 500 firms in the period 1995 to 1999 among Big 5 accounting firms. Auditor rotation and retention are reflected in the transition probabilities. The impacts of mandatory auditor rotation and retention policies are evaluated by examining the state probabilities after two, five, and nine years.

Findings

The paper finds that mandatory auditor rotation will have substantial effects on long‐term market shares, whereas mandatory auditor retention will have very small effects. It shows that a firm's ability to attract new clients, as opposed to retaining current clients, will be the primary factor in determining the firm's long‐term market share under mandatory auditor rotation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper assumes that S&P 500 firms will continue their reliance on Big 5 firms and that the estimated transition probabilities will remain stable over time.

Practical implications

Excessive market share concentration resulting from such policies should not be a concern of regulators. The paper conjectures that, under mandatory rotation, accounting firms will reallocate resources to attract new clients rather than retain existing clients. This may result in lower audit quality.

Originality/value

Interestingly, over the past 25 years, several bodies have considered mandatory auditor rotation and retention. Surprisingly, the authors have found no studies of the effects of mandatory auditor rotation and retention on audit market share.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2021

Li Gao, Jinnan Song, Jianxiao Guo and Jiajuan Liang

Share pledge is a popular way to raise funds in China, but it aggravates information asymmetry. As an indispensable information intermediary in the financial market, media…

Abstract

Purpose

Share pledge is a popular way to raise funds in China, but it aggravates information asymmetry. As an indispensable information intermediary in the financial market, media coverage affects asset price and pricing efficiency and impacts information asymmetry. This study aims to explore the governance role of media coverage as an information intermediary in the share pledge context in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Moderating effect and mediating effect analyses are the primary methods used to test the governance role of media coverage. The ordinary least squares model was used to test the relationship between share pledge and market performance and then proved the moderating effect of media coverage toward the corporate market value of pledge firms. Accounting earnings value relevance models were explored to test the path of media coverage on firm market value by mediating effect analysis. At last, subgroup tests were used to verify the heterogeneity of the moderating effect of media coverage.

Findings

In the context of share pledge in China, the higher the share pledge ratio, the higher is the market value of listed firms, which verifies the motivation of controlling shareholders to avoid the transfer of control right and the motivation to tunneling. Media coverage has a significant negative moderating effect on the relationship between share pledge rate and corporate value and has a significant impact on the accounting earnings value relevance of share pledge firms. From the perspective of long-term earnings, media coverage reduces the market performance of share pledge firms by reducing the value correlation of accounting earnings information. From the short-term price point of view, media coverage reduces the market performance of share pledge firms by improving the value correlation of accounting earnings information. Furthermore, media coverage has a more significant moderating effect in state-owned share pledge firms and low information transparency and low information disclosure quality firms.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not distinguish the mode difference of spreading news and the impact of non-pledge media coverage. Also, this paper does not consider factors other than accounting information value relevance when exploring how media coverage affects the corporate market value. Share pledge firms should use media for publicity and play a role in media governance and should actively improve their information disclosure quality, strengthen communication with investors and reduce information asymmetry fundamentally.

Practical implications

This paper diversify the governance choices for share pledge firms and has important implications for firms, investors, information intermediaries and regulators. Media reports play an increasingly important role today, and any reports and predictions of major events may profoundly affect investors’ decisions. Although media reports can make up for the weakness of accounting information disclosure of equity pledge companies in some sense, it is still not a long-term strategy. Equity pledge companies should not only make use of media for publicity and play a role of media governance but also actively improve their information disclosure quality.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on share pledge firms to carry out in-depth research. Based on exploring the influence mechanism of share pledges, the authors find the importance of media governance. This paper expands the literature about the economic consequences of share pledges and provides empirical data for media governance of share pledge firms. This paper innovatively proves the governance role of media coverage from the view of accounting information value relevance. The main innovation point is the long and short-term perspective analysis of the influence of media coverage on the correlation of accounting earnings value. The heterogeneity effect analysis of media coverage also reflects the depth and strong practical guiding significance of this study.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2005

Patricia H. Thornton, Candace Jones and Kenneth Kury

We contribute to the literature on institutional and organizational change by integrating two related areas of study: the theory and methods of analysis informed by the…

Abstract

We contribute to the literature on institutional and organizational change by integrating two related areas of study: the theory and methods of analysis informed by the research on institutional logics and historical-event sequencing. Institutional logics provide the theory to understand how the content of culture influences organizational change; historical-event sequencing reveals the underlying patterns of cultural transformation. We apply this dual perspective to the cases of institutional stability and change in organizational governance in three industries: accounting, architecture, and higher-education publishing. Research on governance has focused on changes in organizational design between markets, hierarchies, and networks. Missing from this research is an understanding of how institutions at the wider societal level motivate organizations to adopt one of these governance forms over another. We examine how the governance of firms in these industries has been influenced by the institutional logics of the professions, the market, the state, and the corporation by focusing on three mechanisms – institutional entrepreneurs, structural overlap, and historical-event sequencing. Overall, our findings reveal how accounting was influenced by state regulation producing a punctuated equilibrium model, architecture by professional duality producing a cyclical model, and publishing by market rationalization producing an evolutionary model of institutional change in organizational governance.

Details

Transformation in Cultural Industries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-365-5

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Book part
Publication date: 26 June 2006

Namrata Malhotra, Timothy Morris and C.R. (Bob) Hinings

This chapter examines the sources of variation in organizational form among accounting and law firms. We first summarize research in the organization of professional…

Abstract

This chapter examines the sources of variation in organizational form among accounting and law firms. We first summarize research in the organization of professional service firms and explain its evolution. This is followed by the argument that variations around the P2 archetype have emerged in response to different market and institutional pressures faced by accounting and law firms. Drawing on contingency and institutional theory, we show how the changing balance between the influence of market and institutional factors has resulted in structural variation.

Details

Professional Service Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-302-0

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2020

Georg Josef Loscher and Stephan Kaiser

This study aims to explore how commercial and professional management instruments are combined in accounting firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how commercial and professional management instruments are combined in accounting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative study based on 30 semi-structured interviews with partners from 30 different accounting firms (sole practitioners to Big Four) in Germany. The study mainly draws from the literature on the management of accounting firms.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that professional and commercial management instruments structure the use of time by accountants. In these management instruments, professional and commercial goals are interwoven by three mechanisms revealed in this study and named as ambivalence, assimilation and integration. The authors further identify the managerial aspects of professional instruments.

Originality/value

This paper offers three mechanisms that combine commercial and professional goals in the management of accounting firms. The authors thereby contribute to the literature on the management of accounting firms by analysing these mechanisms that enable the pursuit of both goals simultaneously. Further, the authors argue that the minimum organisation, defined by regulators, of accounting firms is an essential infrastructure for the commercialisation of accounting.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2020

Hossein Nouri and Robert James Parker

This paper reviews and synthesizes the extensive literature that investigates turnover in public accounting firms.

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1291

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews and synthesizes the extensive literature that investigates turnover in public accounting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper initially identifies turnover studies by searching two commonly used business databases, ABI and Business Source. Subsequently, references in these studies are examined. Over 100 published studies of accounting firms are identified.

Findings

Prior turnover studies can be classified by the underlying theory: psychological attachment; role theory; mentoring; and organizational justice. Using these theories, prior research has examined a wide variety of issues such as the role of gender in turnover.

Practical implications

Turnover is a significant and long-term problem in accounting firms. Practitioners and researchers have long noted that firms lose the costs of training employees who leave the firm. Recently, many in the auditing field have recognized that employee turnover may reduce audit quality. This paper summarizes prior turnover research, which may provide guidance to future researchers and managers of accounting firms.

Originality/value

This study fills a void in the accounting literature, which is missing a comprehensive and up to date review of prior studies of turnover in accounting firms. Opportunities for future research are also explored. While much has been learned, some theoretical and methodological issues remain unresolved.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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