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본 연구는 감사인의 감사노력이 클수록 감사초기 연도에 피감사회사의 이익의 질이 떨어지는 현상이 완화되는지를 살펴본다. 계속감사기간이 짧을 때 이익의 질이 떨어지는 이유는 감사인이 회사에 대한 지식과 이해를 쌓는데 어느 정도 시간이 필요하기 때문이다. 따라서 비정상감사시간이 증가하면 회사에 대한 지식을 쌓는데 걸리는 기간이 단축될 것이므로 계속감사기간이 이익의 질에 미치는 영향이 줄어들 것으로 예상된다. 본 연구에서 감사인의 감사노력은 실제 감사시간에서 감사시간결정모형을 사용해 추정한 정상감사시간을 차감한 비정상감사시간을, 피감사회사의 이익의 질은 성과대응 재량적 발생액의 절대값을 사용해 측정하였다. 본 연구는 유가증권 및 코스닥시장 상장기업 중 2003년부터 2010년까지의 기간에 감사시간 정보를 공시한 9,518개의 기업-연도 자료를 분석에 이용하였다. 실증결과 BIG4 또는 산업전문감사인에게 감사를 받는 기업일수록, 비정상감사시간이 많은 기업일수록 계속감사기간이 짧을 때 이익의 질이 떨어지는 현상이 완화되는 것으로 나타났다. 한편 비정상감사시간이 이익의 질을 높이는 효과는 BIG4나 산업전문감사인보다는 non-BIG4나 산업전문성이 부족한 감사인에게서 보다 현저히 나타나지만, 계속감사기간이 짧을 때는 감사인의 감사노력이 감사인의 부족한 평판이나 명성, 산업전문성을 보완하는 중재적 역할을 하는데 한계가 있는 것으로 나타났다. 본 연구는 신규 고객에 대한 감사인의 학습속도에 영향을 미치는 요인으로써 과거의 선행연구에서 밝혀진 감사인의 규모나 산업전문성 이외에 감사노력을 추가로 고려했다는 점에서 의의가 있다.


This study examines whether the adverse effect of auditor short tenure on earnings quality is mitigated when auditors spend audit hours over and above the normal level of audit hours. Prior studies show that auditors with short tenure are associated with lower earnings quality because of the lack of client-specific knowledge (Johnson et al., 2002; Myers et al., 2003; Ghosh and Moon, 2005). The reason for this result is that it takes time for auditors to acquire knowledge about their clients' business. But, if auditors make additional efforts by spending abnormal audit hours, then auditors with short audit tenure may be able to make up their lack of knowledge about their clients, mitigating the adverse effect of short auditor tenure on earnings quality. Meanwhile, this mitigating effect of extra audit effort can be affected by auditor's size or industry specialization. On the one hand, as BIG 4 auditors have superior training programs and standardized audit methodologies, these factors may enable BIG4 auditors to better understand their new clients with relatively small efforts. Similarly, industry specialist auditors have accumulated experience and knowhow in serving other clients in the same industry, thus the audit efforts of industry specialists relative to non-specialists may be smaller that is necessary to understand new clients' characteristics. One the other hand, non-BIG4 or non-specialist auditors may need relatively more audit efforts to enhance the understanding of new clients due to system problems or lack of audit experience. If the audit efforts of non- BIG4 or non-specialist auditors in the early years of the audit engagement are enough not only to overcome lack of client-specific knowledge but also to make up for their deficiency in reputation or industry specialization, then the mitigating effect of extra audit effort can be observed even in the non-BIG4 or non-specialist auditors. Otherwise, it can be observed only when auditors are either BIG4 or industry specialists. It is the empirical question whether the audit efforts of non-BIG4 or non-specialist auditors are enough to mitigate the negative relation between short audit tenure and lower earnings quality. We build up the hypotheses as follows. We first test whether the negative relation between auditor tenure and discretionary accruals is attenuated when auditors make additional efforts. Second, we allow the interaction between Big 4 affiliation/ industry specialization and audit hours to examine its effect on the negative relation between auditor tenure and discretionary accruals. To test these hypotheses, we use 9,518 firm-year observations with no missing data on audit hours and audit fees from the firms listed on Korea Stock Exchange and KOSDAQ for the period 2003∼2010. We employ discretionary accruals estimated by the Kothari et al. model as a proxy for earnings quality. Abnormal audit hours are measured by the difference between actual audit hours and the expected audit hours estimated from the audit hour model. The positive audit hours implies that auditors make additional effort than expected, controlling for clients' business complexities and audit risk. The results of this study show that the negative relation between auditor tenure and discretionary accruals is weakened when firms are audited by either Big 4 or industry specialist auditors and auditors make additional effort. This indicates that the relation between auditor short tenure and the impairment of audit quality is mitigated when client firms are audited by either Big 4 auditors or industry specialist auditors and/or auditors make extra effort. But, the mitigating effect of extra audit effort on the relation between auditor short tenure and the impairment of audit quality is only observed when auditors are Big 4 auditors or industry specialist auditors. This suggests that the deterioration of audit quality due to auditor short tenure is attenuated by auditor reputation and industry specialization, not by auditors' spontaneous audit effort.