We examine the association between Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspection reports and a firm’s cost of equity capital, measured using seasoned equity offering (SEO) discounting. SEO discounting occurs when the offer price is lower than the prior day’s market price of the firm’s shares and represents “money left on the table” for issuing firms. We document an economically significant, positive association between SEO discounting and the use of an auditor found to be deficient by the PCAOB for clients of triennially inspected auditors. Cross-sectional evidence suggests that this relation is stronger for clients with lower analyst following and disclosed material weaknesses in financial reporting controls, and weaker if the auditor issues a going concern modification. Our evidence is consistent with PCAOB inspections providing meaningful information about audit quality to market participants, particularly for clients of smaller, triennially inspected auditors.
Data Availability: All data are from publicly available sources.
JEL Classifications: M42.