This paper explores the association of audit partners' industry specialization with corporate disclosure transparency and the latter's informativeness. The distinctive institutional designs of partner signature requirement and Information Disclosure and Transparency Ranking System (IDTRS) adopted in Taiwan allow us to empirically address the issue. We posit and find that the rankings from the IDTRS are higher for firms audited by industry specialist engagement partners than for firms audited by non-specialist engagement partners. Additionally, the results show that the probability of informed trade (PIN) proxy for information asymmetry is negatively associated with the rankings for clients of industry specialist engagement partners, but not for clients of industry non-specialist engagement partners. The results are robust with respect to alternative estimation method and alternative measures of industry specialization. Overall, the evidence suggests that industry specialist engagement partners enhance the credibility of corporate disclosure transparency, through which information asymmetry is further declined. The evidence provides policy implications to the partner signature requirement adopted in Taiwan and China.
The International Journal of Accounting 52(4), p.354-369