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  • 1.
    Huq, Asif
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    How does accounting and auditing regulations affect firm growth and cost of capital?2018Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis provides an understanding of how new audit regulation affect firm growth and how audits affect the cost of capital. To investigate the effect of audit reforms on employment growth, we exploited a Swedish reform made in November 2010 that gave certain firms the option to opt out of previously imposed statutory audits. We find that firms which fulfilled the requirements for voluntary auditing, compared to a control group of similar firms that did not, increased their employment growth rate by 0.39%. Furthermore, the reform was also exploited to investigate if audited financial statements add value for firms in the private debt market. We find that firms with audited financial statements, on average, save 1.26 percentage points on cost of debt compared to firms with unaudited financial statements. Thus, the reform creates a possibility for firms that have the ambition to grow in employment to do so by not auditing, and those who want to grow by investments in capital to do so by reducing the cost of such investments by auditing. However, the current ceiling of the reform is also likely to force some firms to operate at sub-optimal levels, those without having the option to opt out of audit even though they might not accrue any benefit from auditing, at least in the short-run. One can argue that is partly due to how institutions evolve, generally slower than other actors in the society do.

  • 2.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management. Högskolan i Gävle.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Does voluntary audit increase small firm growth?: Evidence from a natural experiment2017In: EAA 2017 Abstracts, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many European countries have abolished mandatory audits for small firms, but we still lack knowledge on whether this affects small firm growth. A Swedish reform in 2010 made audits voluntary for small firms fulfilling certain requirements, while firms that did not meet these requirements still had mandatory audits. We argue that this regulatory change created an almost perfect natural experiment, which can be exploited to evaluate the effects of the reform on employment growth using a difference-in-difference estimator. Our results show that firms who fulfil the requirements for voluntary auditing, as compared to a control group of firms that does not, increased their employment growth rates by on average 0.39%, corresponding to 5 500 jobs being created in the three years following the reform. It thus seems that voluntary audits are reducing the regulatory burden for small firms, making resources available that can be used to increase the number of employees. The current threshold levels for mandatory audits are still significantly lower in Sweden than in most other European countries, which implies that the policymakers in Sweden could create more jobs in small and medium-sized firms if they increased the size threshold levels for mandatory audits.

  • 3.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics. HUI Research.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management. Högskolan i Gävle.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    HUI Research.
    Free to choose: Do voluntary audit reforms increase employment growth?2018Report (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many European countries have abolished mandatory audits for small firms to reduce the regulatory and administrative burden for these firms. However, we still lack knowledge on whether such legislative changes affect employment growth for those firms that become free to choose to have external audits. We investigate this question using a Swedish reform that made audits voluntary for small firms fulfilling certain requirements. The reform created an almost ideal natural experiment, which we use to evaluate the effects of voluntary audits on employment growth for small firms using a difference-in-difference estimator. We find that firms which fulfilled the requirements for voluntary auditing, compared to a control group of similar firms that did not, increased their employment growth rate by 0.39%. This corresponds to 1,830 jobs being created in the year following the reform, suggesting that mandatory audits act as a growth barrier for small firms.

  • 4.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    The effect of audit reform on the employment growth of small Swedish limited companies: A natural experiment2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reducing the regulatory burden for firms will free resources that can be used for productive investments. In this paper, we investigate the effect of a change in regulations, in effect abolishing statutory audits for Swedish micro firms in November 2010, on employment growth in the affected micro firms. The changes in regulations created what we argue is an almost perfect natural experiment that can be exploited to evaluate the effects of the reform on employment growth using a difference-in-difference estimator. Our results show that employment growth is higher in firms which fulfil the requirements for voluntary auditing as compared to a control group of firms of similar sizes that does not, and the positive treatment effect is found for micro firms in all Swedish counties and in all types of industries. We estimate that the reform created 1276 jobs in the three years following the reform. We thus suggest that the current threshold for statutory audits should be increased in Sweden, whose threshold levels for statutory audits are significantly lower than in most other European countries even after the 2010 changes in regulations. Such a regulatory change would, in all likelihood, lead to employment growth in the affected firms. 

  • 5.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management. Högskolan i Gävle.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Handelns utredningsinstitut.
    Do Audited Firms Have Lower Cost of Debt?2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management. Högskolan i Gävle.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    HUI Research.
    Do audited firms have lower cost of debt?2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to investigate if audited financial statements add value for firms in the private debt market. Using an instrumental variable method, we find that firms with audited financial statements, on average, save 1.26 percentage points on cost of debt compared to firms with unaudited financial statements. We also find that using the big, well-known auditing firms does not yield additional cost of debt benefits. Lastly, we find that the effect of audit on cost of debt varies between industries. As such, we find that firms in industries that have been identified in previous studies to have a more complex information structure, and therefore more complex auditing process, also save more on cost of debt relative to other industries when audited.

  • 7.
    Lindgren, Charlie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Huq, Asif
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Li, Yujiao
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Elbe, Jörgen
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Carling, Kenneth
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Current practices of CSR around the globe: An exploratory text mining study2019Conference paper (Refereed)
1 - 7 of 7
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