We explore the impact of turnover within top executive teams, with particular emphasis on executives other than the CEO and chief financial officer (CFO), on auditors’ perceptions of financial reporting risk. Consistent with upper echelon theory, we find that non-CEO/non-CFO executive team turnover increases perceptions of financial reporting risk even with continuity of the CEO and CFO. Additionally, we find that the effect of CEO and CFO turnover on perceptions of risk is primarily driven by concurrent turnover with other top executive team members. Further, the effect of other top executive turnover is more pronounced among firms that had higher-ability managers and that face greater constraints in replacing top talent. This effect is partially mitigated when the firm has an effective financial reporting environment and when the CEO who remains in place has greater operational involvement. These findings highlight the importance of other top executive turnover in risk assessments.

Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.

JEL Classifications: G30; M12; M41; M42.

You do not currently have access to this content.