The PCAOB, in its inspection process, has historically focused on reporting audit deficiencies and used a risk-weighted selection method. In two experiments (focusing on a “micro” and a “macro” investment), we take a “what if” exploratory public policy perspective of evaluating the potential effects on investors' audit quality judgments and investment decisions of two evolving PCAOB inspection practices: disclosure of audit strengths and deficiencies, and the use of a random inspection selection method. In both experiments, we manipulate: inspection reporting (only deficiencies under the historical PCAOB inspection reporting; only deficiencies under a “balanced” PCAOB reporting; or a report where strengths are present but outnumbered by deficiencies) and inspection selection method (risk-weighted or random). We find that disclosure of audit strengths is highly relevant to investment decisions, through influencing investors' audit quality assessments and confidence in financial reporting. Investors also consider inspection selection method in macro-level, but not in micro-level judgments.

You do not currently have access to this content.