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Title: The demand for auditor services in private family firms: the moderating role of generation
Authors: CORTEN, Maarten 
LYBAERT, Nadine 
Issue Date: 2012
Source: European Academy of Management Research (EURAM 2012), Rotterdam, Nederland, 6-8 June 2012
Abstract: This study investigates the demand for auditor services in completely family owned private firms. As US private firms are not obliged to have their annual accounts audited, we consider auditor services as a broad concept that also includes reviews and compilations. We examine the demand for both auditor association (which we define as having any form of association with an auditor, irrespective of whether this association relates to an audit, review or compilation) and auditor assurance (which measures the level of assurance). In line with classical agency theory, our results show a (weak) negative association between management ownership and auditor association. Following recent literature on agency conflicts within private family firms, however, we argue that generational stage should be considered as an important moderator within this relationship, which is supported by our data. Management ownership only seems to be negatively associated with auditor association in first generation private family firms while being positively associated in later generation private family firms. No significant association between management ownership and the level of assurance was found, indicating that owners seem to consider both compilations, reviews and audits as equally effective in mitigating agency costs. The contrary seems to hold for debtholders as leverage was found to be positively associated with the level of auditor assurance but not with auditor association.
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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