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  • 1.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov
    Högskolan Dalarna, HUI Research.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    HUI Research.
    Free to choose: Do voluntary audit reforms increase employment growth?2021In: International Journal of the Economics of Business, ISSN 1357-1516, E-ISSN 1466-1829, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 163-178Article in journal (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 0.59%. This corresponds to 2,770 jobs being created in the year following the reform, suggesting that mandatory audits act as a growth barrier for small firms.

  • 2.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Mikrodataanalys.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    Högskolan Dalarna, Företagsekonomi.
    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.

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  • 3.
    Huq, Asif M
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Bai, Wensong
    Uppsala universitet.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Handelns Forskningsinstitut.
    Institutional Isomorphism and CSR Reporting of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises2023Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate the direct and indirect effects of the EU-wide mandatory CSR reporting reform (2014/95/EU). We argue and find that, in addition to direct effects, coercive pressure also has spillover effects. An example of such a spillover effect of coercive pressure due to the reform is the change in reporting behavior of firms not subject to the reform, i.e., not directly coerced by the regulation. We exploit the Swedish implementation of the reform as a natural experiment to test our hypotheses and find that firms coerced by the reform increase their CSR reporting by 3.5 issues on average. However, firms not coerced by the regulation but close to being regulated increase their CSR reporting by 5.2 issues. As such, firms close to being regulated change their behavior more at the time of the reform than do those that are actually regulated. We also find that the spillover effects are significantly higher for low than high prereform reporters. On the other hand, the direct effects on low prereform reporters are insignificant. Together, the results refine our understanding of the institutionalization process of CSR reporting in a mandatory setting. The results are robust for various model specifications and provide useful insights for regulators and managers. 

  • 4.
    Huq, Asif M
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Bai, Wensong
    Uppsala universitet.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Handelns Forskningsinstitut.
    Institutional Isomorphism and CSR Reporting of SMEs: An Analysis of Swedish Manufacturing Industry2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Huq, Asif M.
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    Institute of Retail Economics, Stockholm.
    Do audited firms have a lower cost of debt?2022In: International Journal of Disclosure & Governance, ISSN 1741-3591, E-ISSN 1746-6539, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 153-175Article in journal (Refereed)
    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 0.47 percentage points on the cost of debt compared to firms with unaudited financial statements. We also find that using the big, well-known auditing firms does not yield any additional cost of debt benefits. Lastly, we investigate if there are industries where alternative sources of information make auditing less valuable in reducing the cost of debt. Here, we find that auditing is less important in lowering cost in one industry, agriculture, where one lender has a 74% market share and a 100-year history of lending to firms within that industry. As such, it seems that lenders having high exposure to a certain industry might act as an alternative to auditing in reducing the information asymmetry between the firm and the lender.

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