This paper uses an agency theory perspective to develop an understanding of the determinants of auditor change for small firms in the United Kingdom. The paper, therefore, extends the existing literature (see Williams [22] and Francis and Wilson [9]) from a consideration of auditor change for large firms in the United States to small firms in the U.K. The results indicate that small U.K. firms have a greater propensity to change their auditors subsequent to the receipt of a first-time audit qualification, to a change in the composition of their board of directors, to a change in their use of external loan capital, and when their existing loans are not secured. The results indicate some support for the agency arguments examined, though there is also evidence of auditor ‘accommodation’ being sought.

JEL Codes

L25, M41, G32


Auditor, Small Firm, Auditor Change, Agency