The Effect of Guanxi on Audit Quality in China

Journal of Business Ethics 103 (4):621-638 (2011)
Two types of guanxi have a close association with auditor independence in China: firm-level connections derived from state ownership and personal connections developed through management affiliations with external auditors. This article examines the effects of these two types of connection and their joint effect on audit quality. We find that state ownership and management affiliations with the external auditor both increase the probability of receiving a clean audit opinion in China. Furthermore, the probability increment brought by management affiliations for non-state-owned enterprises (NSOEs) is greater than that for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). These results suggest that state ownership and management affiliations are two important types of connection that impair auditor independence, and that management affiliations are of greater importance to private-sector firms than to SOEs
Keywords guanxi  auditor independence  corporate governance  state ownership  business ethics  China
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