The numerous scandals attributed to lack of independence on the part of Big 4 auditors have reignited one of the most controversial issues in the accounting profession: Do Big 4 auditors provide higher audit quality? The objective of this paper is to examine whether the auditor's reputation affects non-compliance with disclosure obligations and the type and number of defaults detected by the Ontario Securities Commission. Using an internet-based list published by the Ontario Securities Commission in February 2020, I develop a sample of 286 firms consisting of 143 issuers in default and their 143 matching firms. Results show that the presence of a Big 4 auditor is associated negatively with the various default types and the number of defaults. One implication of these findings is that hiring a reputable auditor may prevent firms and shareholders from being on the “shame list.”

JEL Classifications: G38; G34; G32.

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