Accounting, Auditor Liability, Auditing, Litigation, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Internal Controls, Audit Committee
This dissertation examines the litigation and legal liability exposure of auditors related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). Three separate studies were conducted to examine how auditor's litigation exposure is evaluated by potential litigants (lawyers), and how auditor liability is evaluated by jurors, following the bankruptcy of a client. The first study examines whether the auditor's SOX Section 404 reporting decisions influence lawyers' assessments of their litigation exposure. The second study investigates whether voluntary disclosures of significant deficiencies in internal controls within the SOX Section 404 report, and the subjectivity of the internal control judgments made by the auditor, influence jurors' perceptions of auditor liability for negligence. The third study examines how the requirements of SOX Section 302 related to audit committee independence and audit committee expertise influence jurors' perceptions of auditor independence and auditor liability for negligence. Overall, these three studies provide insights on how different provisions of SOX, specifically the Section 404 report and audit committee requirements, influence the likelihood that auditors will be sued and the likelihood that they will be held liable by a jury.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Phillips, Jillian, "Three Studies Investigating The Legal Liability Implications Of The Sarbanes-oxley Act Of 2002" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4322.