This study examines the associations between the provision of tax services by incumbent auditors and earnings management. We investigate whether three different effects of tax service provision play different roles in accounting practices. The three effects include the audit independence effect, the knowledge spillover effect, and the tax avoidance effect. If the provision of tax services by incumbent auditors harms auditor independence, firms may exercise greater earnings management (audit independence effect). However, if incumbent auditors gain incremental knowledge by offering tax services, the quality of their audit services could be enhanced, and therefore, reported earnings could be more conservative (knowledge spillover effect). If tax service fee leads to low taxable income, it could depress book income when book-tax conformity is high (tax avoidance effect). We find that the provision of tax services generally improves earnings quality by curtailing opportunistic accounting practices. The results also suggest that the negative association between the provision of tax services and discretionary accruals seems to be primarily driven by the knowledge spillover effect as opposed to the tax avoidance effect. Additional analysis is conducted in examining whether the tax avoidance effect exists in a sub-sample.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting|
|Publication status||Published - 2009 Jan 2|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)