Disclosure Of Nonaudit Services Fees: Perceptions Of Investors And Accounting Professionals

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J. Gregory Jenkins
Kathy Krawczyk

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Abstract

This study examines investors’ and accounting professionals’ perceptions related to the necessity and form of disclosure of nonaudit service (NAS) fees pursuant to the Security and Exchange Commission’s Final Rule on auditor independence. A between-subjects design was used to examine participants’ opinions as to the need for disclosure of the performance of NAS and the particular form of disclosure that was preferred. The design incorporated four types of NAS (actuarial services, internal audit outsourcing, legal services, and software training), two levels of materiality (40 percent and 3 percent), and three categories of participants (non-Big 5 CPA firm professionals, Big 5 CPA firm professionals, and investors). A larger percentage of investors favored disclosure of NAS fees than either non-Big 5 CPA firm professionals or Big 5 CPA firm professionals. In addition, of those who favored disclosure, investors favored disclosure of the amount of NAS along with the total audit fees, regardless of the amount, while non-Big 5 CPA firm professionals and Big 5 CPA firm professionals both favored disclosure of the amount of NAS alone and only if those services exceeded a specified threshold. The investor results lend support to the SEC’s revised auditor independence rules.

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