Contenido del informe de auditoría en el año previo a la declaración del concurso de acreedores. Contraste empírico para el caso español

  1. Nora Muñoz-Izquierdo
  2. María-del-Mar Camacho-Miñano
  3. David Pascual-Ezama 1
  1. 1 Departamento de Economía Financiera y Contabilidad II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Revista española de financiación y contabilidad

ISSN: 0210-2412

Year of publication: 2017

Volume: 46

Issue: 1

Pages: 92-126

Type: Article

More publications in: Revista española de financiación y contabilidad


This paper analyses empirically the content of the audit report of financially distressed firms in the year prior to bankruptcy filing, with a double purpose: to propose a classification of the content of audit reports and to examine the differences on the document depending on several features of the auditor and the audited firm. Using a sample of Spanish financially distressed companies from 2004 to 2014, results show that 13% are clean reports or reports that do not contain any disclosures, and qualifications are more frequent than matter paragraphs. Twenty-three per cent of paragraphs inform about filing for insolvency legal proceedings and 45% are related to going concern uncertainties. Additionally, there is evidence of significant differences in the content of the audit report depending on auditor size, industry and financial condition of the audited firm, the quarter on which the court order is imposed and the resolution of the bankruptcy procedure, whereas comments are independent from a change in auditor. Our evidence suggests the usefulness of the audit report in predicting financial distress risk, and this usefulness will be incremented due to the implementation of the new Audit Law in Spain, as it requires mentioning any financial risks when going concern uncertainties may exist.

Bibliographic References

  • Aguiar-Díaz, I., & Díaz-Díaz, N. L., (2015). Calidad de la auditoría, Second-Tier y tamaño:su efecto en las empresas fracasadas no cotizadas españolas. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 44(1), 24–46. doi:10.1080/02102412.2014.982386
  • Aguiar-Díaz, I., & Ruiz-Mallorquí, M. V., (2013). Conflicto entre acreedores y resolución del concurso en España. Universia Business Review, 39(3), 50–65.
  • Altman, E. I., (1968). Financial ratios, discriminant analysis and the prediction of corporate bankruptcy. The Journal of Finance, 23(4), 589–609. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6261.1968.tb00843.x
  • Altman, E. I., (1982). Accounting implications of failure prediction models. Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, 6(1), 4–19.
  • Altman, E. I., (1983). Corporate financial distress. In A complete guide to predicting, avoiding, and dealing with bankruptcy. New York, NY:Wiley Interscience, John Wiley and Sons. Retrieved from
  • Altman, E. I., Iwanicz-Drozdowska, M., Laitinen, E. K., & Suvas, A., (2015). Financial and non-financial variables as long-horizon predictors of bankruptcy. WP SSRN. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2669668
  • Altman, E. I., Iwanicz-Drozdowska, M., Laitinen, E. K., & Suvas, A., (2016). Financial distress prediction in an international context:A review and empirical analysis of Altman’s z-score model. Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, 27(2), 1–41.
  • Altman, E. I., Sabato, G., & Wilson, N., (2010). The value of non-financial information in small and medium-sized enterprise risk management. TheJournal of Credit Risk, 2(6), 95–127. doi:10.21314/JCR.2010.110
  • Arnedo-Ajona, L., Lizarraga-Dallo, F., & Sánchez-Alegría, S., (2008). Discretionary accruals and auditor behaviour in code-law contexts:An application to failing Spanish firms. European Accounting Review, 17(4), 641–666. doi:10.1080/09638180802172479
  • Balcaen, S., & Ooghe, H., (2006). 35 years of studies on business failure:An overview of the classic statistical methodologies and their related problems. The British Accounting Review, 38(1), 63–93. doi:10.1016/
  • Baldwin, J., & Glezen, G. W., (1992). Bankruptcy prediction using quarterly financial statement data. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, 7(3), 269–285.
  • Ball, R., Walker, R. G., & Whittred, G., (1979). Audit qualifications and share prices. Abacus, 15(1), 23–34. doi:10.1111/abac.1979.15.issue-1
  • Beaver, W. H., (1966). Financial ratios as predictors of failure. Journal of Accounting Research, 4, 71–111. doi:10.2307/2490171
  • Bellovary, J. L., Giacomino, D. E., & Akers, M. D., (2007). A review of bankruptcy prediction studies:1930 to present. Journal of Financial Education, 33, 1–42.
  • Blay, A. D., Geiger, M. A., & North, D. S., (2011). The auditor’s going-concern opinion as a communication of risk. Auditing:A Journal of Practice & Theory, 30(2), 77–102. doi:10.2308/ajpt-50002
  • Bowler, B. D., (2015). Are going concern opinions associated with lower audit impact? WP SSRN. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2700896
  • Cahyono, D., (2014). Effect of prior audit opinion, audit quality, and factors of its audit opinion going concern. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting, 24(5), 70–77.
  • Campa, D., & Camacho-Miñano, M. D. M., (2014). Earnings management among bankrupt non-listed firms:Evidence from Spain. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 43(1), 3–20. doi:10.1080/02102412.2014.890820
  • Carcello, J. V., & Palmrose, Z. V., (1994). Auditor litigation and modified reporting on bankrupt clients. Journal of Accounting Research, 32, 1–30. doi:10.2307/2491436
  • Carey, P. J., Geiger, M. A., & O’Connell, B. T., (2008). Costs associated with going concern modified audit opinions:An analysis of the Australian audit market. Abacus, 44(1), 61–81. doi:10.1111/abac.2008.44.issue-1
  • Carson, E., Fargher, N. L., Geiger, M. A., Lennox, C. S., Raghunandan, K., & Willekens, M., (2013). Audit reporting for going-concern uncertainty:A research synthesis. Auditing:A Journal of Practice and Theory, 32(sp1), 353–384. doi:10.2308/ajpt-50324
  • Celentani, M., García-Posada, M., & Gómez, F., (2010). The Spanish business bankruptcy puzzle and the crisis (Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada (FEDEA), WP 11). Retrieved from
  • Chava, S., & Jarrow, R. A., (2004). Bankruptcy prediction with industry effects. Review of Finance, 8(4), 537–569. doi:10.1093/rof/8.4.537
  • Chen, K. C., & Church, B. K., (1992). Default on debt obligations and the issuance of going concern opinions. Auditing:A Journal of Practice and Theory, 11(2), 30–49.
  • DeFond, M. L., & Zhang, J., (2014). A review of archival auditing research. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 58(2), 275–326. doi:10.1016/j.jacceco.2014.09.002
  • Del Brío-González, E. B., (1998). Efecto de las salvedades de los informes de auditoría sobre el precio de las acciones en la bolsa de Madrid. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 27(94), 129–170.
  • Del Puerto-Cabrera, L., & Sánchez-Serrano, J. R., (2015). Reflexiones sobre la insolvencia, el concurso y el contenido del informe en la nueva Ley de Auditoría de Cuentas. Revista AECA, 111, 76–78.
  • Directiva 2014/56/UE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 16 de abril de 2014, por la que se modifica la Directiva 2006/43/CE relativa a la auditoría legal de las cuentas anuales y de las cuentas consolidadas.
  • Dopuch, N., Holthausen, R. W., & Leftwich, R. W., (1987). Predicting audit qualifications with financial and market variables. The Accounting Review, 62(3), 431–454.
  • Duréndez Gómez-Guillamón, A. D., (2003). The usefulness of the audit report in investment and financing decisions. Managerial Auditing Journal, 18(6/7), 549–559. doi:10.1108/02686900310482687
  • Eldridge, S., Kwak, W., Venkatesh, R., Shi, Y., & Kou, G., (2012). Predicting auditor changes with financial distress variables:Discriminant analysis and problems with data mining approaches. Journal of Applied Business Research, 28(6), 1357. doi:10.19030/jabr.v28i6.7349
  • Elliott, J. A., (1982). “Subject to” audit opinions and abnormal security returns-outcomes and ambiguities. Journal of Accounting Research, 20(2), 617–638. doi:10.2307/2490889
  • Firth, M., (1978). Qualified audit reports:Their impact on investment decisions. The Accounting Review, 53(3), 642–650.
  • Firth, M., (1980). A note on the impact of audit qualifications on lending and credit decisions. Journal of Banking & Finance, 4(3), 257–267. doi:10.1016/0378-4266(80)90023-0
  • Gallizo, J. L., & Saladrigues, R., (2016). An analysis of determinants of going concern audit opinion:Evidence from Spain stock exchange. Intangible Capital, 12(1), 1–16. doi:10.3926/ic.683
  • García Lara, J. M., García Osma, B., & Neophytou, E., (2009). Earnings quality in ex‐post failed firms. Accounting and Business Research, 39(2), 119–138. doi:10.1080/00014788.2009.9663353
  • Gill-de-Albornoz, B., & Giner, B., (2013). Predicción del fracaso empresarial en los sectores de construcción e inmobiliario:Modelos generales versus específico. Universia Business Review, 39, 118–131.
  • Gómez-Aguilar, N., & Ruiz-Barbadillo, E., (2000). Un estudio empírico sobre la relación entre informe de auditoría y cambio de auditor. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 105, 705–741.
  • Gosman, M. L., (1973). Characteristics of firms making accounting changes. The Accounting Review, 48(1), 1–11.
  • Herbohn, K., & Ragunathan, V., (2008). Auditor reporting and earnings management:Some additional evidence. Accounting and Finance, 48(4), 575–601.
  • Hernández-Tinoco, M., & Wilson, N., (2013). Financial distress and bankruptcy prediction among listed companies using accounting, market and macroeconomic variables. International Review of Financial Analysis, 30, 394–419. doi:10.1016/j.irfa.2013.02.013
  • Hillegeist, S. A., Keating, E. K., Cram, D. P., & Lundstedt, K. G., (2004). Assessing the probability of bankruptcy. Review of Accounting Studies, 9(1), 5–34. doi:10.1023/B:RAST.0000013627.90884.b7
  • Hopwood, W., McKeown, J., & Mutchler, J., (1989). A test of the incremental explanatory power of opinions qualified for consistency and uncertainty. The Accounting Review, 64(1), 28–48.
  • Hudaib, M., & Cooke, T. E., (2005). The impact of managing director changes and financial distress on audit qualification and auditor switching. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 32(9–10), 1703–1739. doi:10.1111/j.0306-686X.2005.00645.x
  • Kim, M., Kim, M., & McNiel, R. D., (2008). Predicting survival prospect of corporate restructuring in Korea. Applied Economics Letters, 15(15), 1187–1190. doi:10.1080/13504850601018080
  • Korol, T., (2013). Early warning models against bankruptcy risk for Central European and Latin American enterprises. Economic Modelling, 31, 22–30. doi:10.1016/j.econmod.2012.11.017
  • Krishnan, G. V., Ma, M. S., & Yan, W., (2015, February). Do auditors with a deep pocket provide a high quality audit? WP. 2016 UTS Australian Summer Accounting Conference. Sydney:UTS Business School. Retrieved from
  • Kumar, P. R., & Ravi, V., (2007). Bankruptcy prediction in banks and firms via statistical and intelligent techniques–A review. European Journal of Operational Research, 180(1), 1–28. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2006.08.043
  • Kuruppu, N., Laswad, F., & Oyelere, P., (2003). The efficacy of liquidation and bankruptcy prediction models for assessing going concern. Managerial Auditing Journal, 18(6/7), 577–590. doi:10.1108/02686900310482713
  • La Porta, R., López-de-Silanes, F., Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W., (1998). Law and finance. The Journal of Political Economy, 106(6), 1113–1155. doi:10.1086/250042
  • Laitinen, E. K., (2009). Do reorganizing and bankrupt firms differ from viable firms? Proceedings of the IASK International Conference, Global Management, 2009, 185–194.
  • Laitinen, E. K., (2013). Financial and non-financial variables in prediction failure of small business reorganization. International Journal of Accounting and Finance, 4(1), 1–34. doi:10.1504/IJAF.2013.053111
  • Laitinen, E. K., & Laitinen, T., (1998). Qualified audit reports in Finland:Evidence from large companies. European Accounting Review, 7(4), 639–653. doi:10.1080/096381898336231
  • Laitinen, E. K., & Laitinen, T., (2009a). Audit report in payment default prediction:A contingency approach. International Journal of Auditing, 13(3), 259–280. doi:10.1111/ijau.2009.13.issue-3
  • Laitinen, E. K., & Laitinen, T., (2009b). Effect of accruals on financial, non-financial, and audit information in payment default prediction. International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 5(4), 353–383. doi:10.1504/IJAAPE.2009.027878
  • Lennox, C. S., (1999a). The accuracy and incremental information content of audit reports in predicting bankruptcy. Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 26(5), 757–778. doi:10.1111/1468-5957.00274
  • Lennox, C. S., (1999b). Are large auditors more accurate than small auditors? Accounting and Business Research, 29(3), 217–227. doi:10.1080/00014788.1999.9729582
  • Lennox, C. S., (1999c). Audit quality and auditor size:An evaluation of reputation and deep pockets hypotheses. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 26(7/8), 779–805. doi:10.1111/1468-5957.00275
  • Ley 22/2003, de 9 de Julio, Concursal.
  • Ley 22/2015, de 20 de Julio, de Auditoría de Cuentas.
  • Lukason, O., & Hoffman, R. C., (2015). Firm failure causes:A population level study. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 13(1), 45–55.
  • Lussier, R. N., (1995). A nonfinancial business success versus failure prediction model for young firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 33(1), 8–20.
  • Maletta, M., & Wright, A., (1996). Audit evidence planning:An examination of industry error characteristics. Auditing:A Journal of Practice and Theory, 15(1), 71–86.
  • Martínez Pina, A. M., (2015). Recuperando la confianza perdida. Revista AECA, 111, 56–57.
  • Mayew, W. J., Sethuraman, M., & Venkatachalam, M., (2015). MD&A disclosure and the firm’s ability to continue as a going concern. The Accounting Review, 90(4), 1621–1651. doi:10.2308/accr-50983
  • McKee, T. E., (2003). Rough sets bankruptcy prediction models versus auditor signaling rates. Journal of Forecasting, 22(8), 569–586. doi:10.1002/for.875
  • Monroe, G. S., & Teh, S. T., (1993). Predicting uncertainty audit qualifications in Australia using publicly available information. Accounting and Finance, 33(2), 79–106. doi:10.1111/j.1467-629X.1993.tb00200.x
  • Pastor Vega, D., (2015). Predicción de viabilidad empresarial (Tesis Doctoral). Universidad de Málaga, Málaga.
  • Peel, M. J., & Peel, D. A., (1987). Some further empirical evidence on predicting private company failure. Accounting and Business Research, 18(69), 57–66. doi:10.1080/00014788.1987.9729348
  • Piñeiro-Sánchez, C., de Llano-Monelos, P. L., & Rodriguez-López, M., (2013). A parsimonious model to forecast financial distress, based on audit evidence. Contaduría y Administración, 58(4), 151–173. doi:10.1016/S0186-1042(13)71237-3
  • Piñeiro-Sánchez, C., de Llano-Monelos, P. L., & Rodríguez-López, M., (2012). La evaluación de la probabilidad del fracaso financiero. Contraste empírico del contenido informacional de la auditoría de cuentas. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 46(156), 565–587. doi:10.1080/02102412.2012.10779736
  • Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2010, de 2 de julio, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Sociedades de Capital.
  • Ruiz-Barbadillo, E., Gómez-Aguilar, N., & Aguilar-Contreras, G., (2002). Una comparación intersectorial y por tamaño de la calidad de la información contable a través del análisis del informe de auditoría. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 31(112), 545–581. doi:10.1080/02102412.2002.10779457
  • Ruiz-Barbadillo, E., Gómez-Aguilar, N., De Fuentes-Barberá, C., & García-Benau, M. A., (2004). Audit quality and the going-concern decision-making process:Spanish evidence. European Accounting Review, 13(4), 597–620. doi:10.1080/0963818042000216820
  • Sánchez-Segura, A., (2000). Factores determinantes del retraso en la emisión del informe de auditoría. Un análisis empírico. Revista de Contabilidad, 3(6), 145–175.
  • Sánchez-Segura, A., (2003). Salvedades y cambio de auditor. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 32(119), 983–1012. doi:10.1080/02102412.2003.10779504
  • Sánchez-Segura, A., & Sierra-Molina, G., (2001). El informe de auditoría y su relación con las características corporativas. Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad, 30(108), 349–391. doi:10.1080/02102412.2001.10779420
  • Schwartz, K. B., & Menon, K., (1985). Auditor switches by failing firms. Accounting Review, 60(2), 248–261.
  • Shumway, T., (2001). Forecasting bankruptcy more accurately:A simple hazard model. TheJournal of Business, 74(1), 101–124. doi:10.1086/jb.2001.74.issue-1
  • Van Hemmen Almazor, E., (2015). Estadística Concursal. Anuario 2014. Madrid:Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad y Mercantiles de España.
  • Wu, W. W., (2010). Beyond business failure prediction. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(3), 2371–2376. doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2009.07.056