A new academic study casts doubt on whether efforts to require companies to rotate their audit firms lead to greater professional skepticism on the part of auditors.

A paper published in the new issue of an American Accounting Association’s journal The Accounting Review calls the entire practice into question. Based on a complex experiment involving students who did not even know they were playing the role of auditors, the study concludes that mandatory audit firm rotation could inhibit professional skepticism rather than encourage skepticism.

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