This paper explores the pattern of auditor switching in Canada before and during the Great Depression based on a sample of 1,344 financial statements. Hierarchical log linear analysis shows that there is a significant change in the pattern of switches. Prior to the Depression, the contemporary pattern of auditor switching is observed; that is, there is a flow of clients from small to large audit firms and from Canadian to international audit firms. During the Depression, however, this flow of clients is reversed with large international firms losing clients through switches, on average, to Canadian and smaller audit firms. The contemporary audit literature suggests possible reasons for the observed patterns in terms of the demand for higher quality audits by clients and audit firms' risk management of potential client bankruptcy.

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