This study examines whether and how Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) international inspections mitigate the market value discount in cash holdings. We find that shareholders value internal cash holdings more highly for the non-U.S.-listed clients of inspected auditors after the public disclosure of the auditors’ inspection reports. We show that the decreased agency frictions and the increased financial reporting credibility are potential mechanisms. Further, we find that the effect of PCAOB international inspections on the market value of cash holdings is stronger in countries with weaker legal institutions and less sound information environment. Since investors’ valuation of cash mirrors how they expect the cash to be used, our results suggest a unique role of PCAOB oversight in mitigating unresolved agency problems and safeguarding corporate resources, thereby lessening investors’ markdowns of cash assets. Our findings help identify the real economic impacts of PCAOB oversight in enhancing global stock market confidence.

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

JEL Classifications: G34; M42; M48.

This content is only available via PDF.