Behavioral spillover between firms with shared auditors: the monitoring role of capital market investors

Viet Nga Cao, Anh Viet Pham

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This paper examines the monitoring role of investors in the behavioral spillover between firms with shared auditors. Our context involves firms receiving U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission comment letters on issues relating to the recognition of revenue, gains, or losses (RRGL) in their 10-K filings and subsequently engaging in a higher degree of accounting conservatism. Investors of firms who did not receive a comment letter but share auditors with RRGL comment letter recipients react adversely to the release of these comment letters. Through the threat of downward stock price pressure on the value of Chief Financial Officers' equity compensation, investors induce the nonrecipients to also engage in a higher degree of accounting conservatism. When exposed to higher reputation and litigation risks, the shared auditors further contribute to the behavioral spillover between their clients by acting as informational intermediaries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101914
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Accounting conservatism
  • Auditors
  • Investors
  • SEC comment letters
  • Spillover

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