Is it a conflict if your independent auditor also performs your CSR attestation?
– One study bolsters case for independent auditors to attest to their client’s ESG activities.
– I couldn’t access a copy of the study – so I’m not sure how the authors concluded that total fees wouldn’t go up. I presume they mean total fees wouldn’t be any larger than if a third-party conducted the attestation.
It’s a good question: is it a conflict if your independent auditor also performs your CSR attestation? According to this study, the answer is “no” – in that if an auditor does both, there are:
– More frequent going‐concern opinions and have lower Type II going‐concern errors,
– Have clients that book larger environmental and litigation provisions,
– Report earnings that are more persistent and value‐relevant and are less likely to book income‐decreasing earnings restatements, and
– Do not charge higher audit fees or total fees.