At a time when CPAs are being encouraged to share more information with investors, a study has found that such behavior may not be rewarded. In a paper presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association, Professors Stephen P. Rowe and Elizabeth N. Cowle of the University of Arkansas report “auditors who issue an ICMW (internal control material weakness) are perceived as less attractive in the audit market.” The researchers considered 13 years of data from 885 local offices of 358 audit firms in the United States. They found “the issuance of an ICMW affects auditor selection and retention decisions even among clients that do not receive an ICMW.”

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