Public expectations of auditors' objectivity, the on‐going debate over auditors' independence (SEC 2001), and previous research motivate our study of one aspect of auditor rotation. Using an experimental case, we examine the impact of continuity on concurring partner reviews. Continuity specifically refers to a concurring partner's assumed degree of prior involvement with a client engagement. We explore two levels of prior involvement—a continuing concurring partner (i.e., involved as a concurring partner in the current and prior year's engagement) and a new concurring partner (i.e., involved as a concurring partner in the current year's engagement only).
Based on information in the case, audit partners in the role of concurring partners make judgments related to goodwill impairment. Consistent with our expectation, continuing concurring partners are less likely than new concurring partners to conclude that purchased goodwill may be impaired. Based on our results, the recent regulatory actions mandating within‐firm rotation of concurring partners are likely to affect audit firm judgments.