In FRR No. 68, the SEC (2003b) updated the rules related to the disclosure of fees paid to the independent auditor by requiring more detailed information about nonaudit fees. The SEC (2002, 2003b) asserted that the partition of nonaudit fees into the categories of audit‐related, tax, and other fees would be useful for investors in assessing the auditor's independence and in voting on ratifying the auditor. The SEC suggested that investors would view audit‐related and tax services more favorably than “other” nonaudit services. In this paper we test the SEC's assertions by examining shareholder ratification votes, during 2003, at 248 of the S&P 1500 firms. Our results support the SEC's assertion that investors would view audit‐related fees differently than the other two types of nonaudit fees. However, contrary to the SEC's assertion, both the tax fee ratio and the other fee ratio have a positive association with the proportion of votes against auditor ratification. The results related to tax fees provide empirical support to the PCAOB's recent initiative to examine the association between tax services and auditor independence. Our results can be useful for client managements and audit committees considering purchases of nonaudit services from auditors. Our findings also suggest that it may be useful to replicate some prior studies (that use a single measure of nonaudit fees) using the newer, more finely partitioned, fee data.

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