Global audit firm networks and their reputation risk

Yoshie Saito, Fumiko Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The globalization of audit markets not only provides an opportunity for the U.S. Big 4 auditors to establish international expertise through global networks, but it also exposes them to reputation risk arising from the acts of their local partners. We analyze the audit failure of ChuoAoyama, one of the Japanese Big 4 audit firms, and find that its credibility impairment reduced security prices of not only the clients of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), their U.S. affiliate, but also the American clients of all other Big 4 auditors affiliated with the Japanese Big 4. Because the quality of the U.S. audit firms is perceived as superior to that of auditors in other countries, we also analyze the premiums arising from the affiliation with the U.S.-led global audit firm networks. We compare the effect of Andersen's audit failure with ChuoAoyama's in Japanese capital markets and find that the magnitude of negative market reactions is larger for Andersen's failure than for ChuoAoyama's. Together, these results suggest that global audit firm networks have created a network-wide reputation for their services that is susceptible not only to audit failures of the U.S. Big 4 but also to those of non-U.S. affiliates and that there is a quality premium for the U.S. Big 4 in Japanese markets. Our results provide a rational explanation for PwC's aggressive efforts to temper the negative impact of ChuoAoyama's failure on their reputation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-237
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Event study
  • Global audit firm networks
  • Reputation risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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