Secondly, the lack of consensus about the effects of tenure on the likelihood of qualified reports jointly with the relevance of the issue, not only for researchers but also for policy makers, encourages additional research.
Poor liquidity is expected to increase the likelihood of qualified reports since it increases the auditor's litigation risk.
Accordingly, Big 4 auditors will have incentives to provide higher quality audits consistent with their brand name reputation, and thus are expected to show a higher propensity to issue qualified reports [e.g., Carey and Simnett, 2006].
As shown by Table 1, the number of firms with qualified audit reports decreases systematically during the subperiod 2001-2006, and increases after the year 2006, being particularly meaningful the situation in 2008, at the beginning of the international financial crisis, showing an almost 100% increase in the number of firms with qualified reports. The number of qualified reports expressed in percentage of total reports ranges between a maximum of 22% the year 2001 and a minimum of 8% the year 2006.
In addition, firms with qualified reports are engaged in relatively short term engagements with the audit firm.
If the negative relationship between audit tenure and the likelihood of qualified reports is because accounting quality increases with tenure, once we introduce ACCRUALS in the model and thus control for audit quality, tenure should not significantly affect the likelihood of audit qualifications.
Vanstraelen, 2000] report a negative effect of audit tenure on the likelihood of issuing a qualified report, we must consider that this finding refers only to financially distressed firms and to audit qualifications for reasons of going concern.
Nevertheless, when the auditor issues a qualified report for reasons of going concern, (s)he is not performing the information verifier role but acting as substitutes of models for bankruptcy prediction.
Each scope paragraph in the 17 audit reports appeared to follow SAS 42 guidance with respect to stating the type of audit report rendered on the client's complete set of financial statements; 13 reports referred users to unqualified audit reports, three reports made reference to qualified reports
, and one report (American Management Systems) referred users to a report that was unqualified for each of three past years and qualified for each of two most recent years.