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Keywords:

  • auditing;
  • game theory;
  • opinion shopping;
  • going-concern

This paper analyzes a game-theoretic model in which a client can potentially avoid a going-concern opinion and its self-fulfilling prophecy by switching auditors. Incumbent auditors are less willing to express a going-concern opinion the more credible the client's threat of dismissal and the stronger the self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Similarly, the client is more willing to switch auditors the more likely it is that auditors' reporting judgments will differ and the stronger the self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Further, with greater noise in the auditor's forecast of client viability, the auditor tends to express fewer going-concern opinions.