This study examines whether the presence of high-quality auditors (Big 4 or industry specialist auditors [ISAs]) in an industry facilitates accounting information transfer among industry peers and enhances investment decisions of firms not audited by high-quality auditors (non-Big 4-ISA client firms). Consistent with the prediction of informational influence theories, we find that non-Big 4-ISA client firms that belong to an industry with a greater presence of high-quality auditors are associated with lower investment inefficiency. The effect is more pronounced for firms with less precise private information. Path analysis shows that the association between high-quality auditor presence and learning firms’ investment inefficiency is explained via a direct path of source credibility and an indirect path mediated by peer firms’ accounting information quality. Finally, we find that firms in industries with larger reductions in Big 4 presence following the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 incur more investment inefficiency.
Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.
JEL Classifications: M40; M41; M42.