Do auditors respond when listed firms pledge shares? Evidence from China

dc.contributor.authorKong KM
dc.contributor.authorHuang HJ
dc.description.abstractPurpose: This paper investigates whether the audit fees of Chinese listed firms are associated with the share pledging practice of the firm’s controlling shareholders. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses the audit pricing model to estimate the association between the share pledging of listed firms and audit fees. Cross-sectional analysis is conducted on a large sample of Chinese listed firms during the period 2004 to 2019. The authors further test the moderating effects of listing on the Main Board, state ownership and abnormal audit report lag on the association between share pledging and audit fees. The results remain robust to various endogeneity tests including two-stage least squares instrumental variable analysis, entropy balancing analysis and difference-in-difference analysis. Findings: The study finds that audit fees are positively associated with the proportion of shares pledged by the listed firm’s controlling shareholder in China. The results also provide new evidence that the positive association between audit fees and the share pledging of controlling shareholders could be mitigated if the firm is listed on the Main Board and/or it is a state-owned enterprise. In contrast, pledged firms with abnormal audit report lag are found to have higher audit fees than their pledged counterparts without the excessively long audit delay. Practical implications: Findings of this study have important practical implications to those charged with governance, as boards need to comprehensively understand the adverse consequences of share pledging when pursuing it as the firm’s major source of financing. The study also has policy implications for stock market regulators such as the China Securities Regulatory Commission in China. Regulators could consider developing a threshold-based share pledging disclosure and pledge ratio requirements based on factors such as a firm’s listing status and ownership structure. Originality/value: This study provides new evidence on the audit-related consequences of share pledging in a significant capital market. Findings of this study also enrich the existing audit literature by introducing the share pledging activities of controlling shareholders into the audit pricing decision-making model.
dc.identifier.citationPacific Accounting Review, 2023
dc.relation.isPartOfPacific Accounting Review
dc.rightsCC BY-NC 4.0
dc.subject.anzsrc1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
dc.titleDo auditors respond when listed firms pledge shares? Evidence from China
dc.typeJournal article
pubs.notesNot known
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University/Massey Business School
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University/Massey Business School/School of Accountancy
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