Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation: A Review of Stakeholder Perspectives and Prior Research

C. Ewelt-Knauer, A.H. Gold, C. Pott

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The global financial crisis brought to the fore questions surrounding the scope and quality of the external audit, market concentration and auditor independence. One of the issues currently being considered by the European Commission and European Parliament is mandatory audit firm rotation. The aim of this review is to identify, consider and evaluate stakeholder views and research evidence on mandatory audit firm rotation to highlight deficiencies in the existing research literature, identify opportunities for further research and make recommendations for policy-makers. As demonstrated, stakeholder views vary widely. We find that the research evidence on the impact of mandatory audit firm rotation on audit quality and auditor independence is inconclusive. Whilst there is some evidence that rotation may have a positive impact on 'independence in appearance', most research fails to generalise these findings to measures of audit quality associated with 'independence in fact' and there is even evidence of potentially adverse effects of rotation. Given the lack of evidence associating mandatory audit firm rotation with an improvement on audit quality, regulators need to determine carefully the long-term objectives of a mandatory rotation requirement before implementing a costly measure. We further highlight the need for future research looking at the implications of measures designed to improve audit quality. © 2013 Copyright European Accounting Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
JournalAccounting in Europe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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