Estimates of optimal audit firm tenure across different legal regimes

Li Z. Brooks, C. S.Agnes Cheng, Joseph A. Johnston, Kenneth J. Reichelt

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a quadratic form of audit tenure in explaining audit quality, we estimate a reference point that is potentially optimal for audit firm rotation for 22 countries across legal regimes with high versus low levels of investor protection. We find that our estimate for the high investor protection regime is longer than that for the low investor protection regime (24 years vs. 14 years for our main measure). However, very few firms from our sample would have been affected if there were a requirement of a mandatory rotation term, suggesting that mandatory audit firm rotation may not be necessary. In additional analyses, we not only evaluate the empirical validity of the quadratic form but also use various measures of our key variables, to conduct several other robustness tests. We continue to find a longer optimal point for countries with stronger investor protection in these robustness tests. Our findings imply that stronger country-level investor protection is a substitute for a shorter term of mandatory audit firm rotation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-39
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • audit quality
  • auditor firm tenure
  • earnings quality
  • investor protection
  • legal regime
  • mandatory audit firm rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimates of optimal audit firm tenure across different legal regimes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this