External audit quality and firms' credit score

Zalata, Alaa Mansour and Elzahar, Hany and McLaughlin, Craig (2020) External audit quality and firms' credit score. Cogent Business and Management, 7 (1). 1724063. ISSN 2331-1975 (https://doi.org/10.1080/23311975.2020.1724063)

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Using a sample of UK firms, we investigate whether external audit quality has an informational role for firms credit score. In our general research setting, we could not find any evidence on the association between firms’ credit score and external audit quality. However, when firms are suspected to be engaged in managerial misstatements, firms’ credit score seems to be associated with external audit quality. In particular, suspected firms get high credit score when they are audited by one of industry-specialised auditors. In addition, credit rating agencies penalise suspect firms when they pay high audit and non-audit fees.