Determinants of Audit Fees and Financial Crisis
Recent literature on audit fee reveals that auditors are under pressure to reduce audit fees during crisis. This paper investigates a new aspect of auditor behavior during crisis: how the downward pressure on audit fees influences the determinants of audit fees during crisis. The results, using Korean data for the period 2005-2010, reveal the following: First, consistent with prior studies, audit fees dropped significantly during the financial crisis period, supporting the existence of downward pressure on audit fees. Second, among the determinants of audit fees, the coefficients on firm size decreased significantly while those on firm risk increased during crisis. These findings suggest that auditors respond differently to small firms and risky firms when facing downward pressure on audit fees. Collectively, the above results provide useful insights into how auditors behave when they are under pressure to reduce audit fees.
Index Terms- Audit fee, crisis, size, risk