Does the length of the cooling-off period affect audit quality?

Rebecca Mattocks, Ting-Chiao Huang, Robyn A. Moroney, Ashna Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines the association between the length of the cooling-off period and audit quality: (1) when partners rotate back and (2) during the cooling-off period, ahead of an extension to the minimum cooling-off period requirement in Australia. Using multiple measures of audit quality, we find some evidence of a positive association between the cooling-off period length and audit quality when partners rotate back, yet evidence of a negative association between the two, during the cooling-off period. We also find that auditor and client characteristics—such as partner busyness, client knowledge, geographic proximity, and client importance—play important roles in determining the cooling-off period length and whether a partner rotates back onto a client. Overall, we provide timely evidence that extending the cooling-off period only marginally enhances audit quality when a partner rotates back onto a client, and evidence of an unintended consequence of this policy during the cooling-off period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-174
Number of pages26
JournalAuditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • audit quality
  • auditor rotation
  • cooling-off period

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