Auditor independence has been extensively examined from the perspective of independence in appearance, driven by the perception that the provision of non-audit services (NAS) leads to the diminution of auditor independence as well as appearance. This study reports on experimental laboratory research using experienced auditors and finds, similar to archival studies, that independence in fact is not compromised by NAS. On the contrary, our results suggest that greater NAS associates with more conservative auditor going-concern judgments among more experienced auditors. One explanation is that greater NAS associates with documented firm-performance deficiencies and experienced auditors recognize that association and respond accordingly.
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