A primary concern facing the PCAOB's requirement of disclosing critical audit matters (CAMs) is increased auditor litigation risk. Evidence with Key Audit Matters from the U.K. indicates auditors may subsequently remove a CAM or continue to report the same CAM for several years. Therefore, we investigate the effects of CAM removal and duration on jurors' assessments of auditor negligence when there is a subsequent material misstatement due to fraud in the account related to the CAM. Using the Culpable Control Model, we predict jurors will assess higher auditor negligence when a CAM is removed than when a CAM is reported and when a CAM is reported for multiple years than for one year. Results from two experiments support our expectations, although results vary depending on complexity of the misstated account. Overall, our findings highlight a quandary for audit firms, where subsequent removal of a CAM increases auditor liability.

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