Professor Paul Griffin

Professor Paul Griffin teamed up with Professor David Lont of the University of Otago, New Zealand to study the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on audit fees. Their research paper was recently selected for presentation at the University of Technology, Sydney Summer Research School that will take place February 10-11, 2005. Griffin and Lont calculate that since the passage of the law in July 2002, companies’ actual payments to their auditors have increased substantially. These fee increases benefited mostly the Big 5 (now Big 4) accounting firms and were paid mainly by the largest SEC registrants. The researchers’ analysis indicates that since the Act was implemented the audit fee of the average large company (with revenues of more than $2.5 billion) increased by approximately $1.7 million on an annual basis, after controlling for factors that would have increased audit fees anyway. The audit fee of the average smaller company (with revenues of less than $1 billion) increased much less, by about $62,000 annually. These increases fall below those published by the news media based mostly on surveys of company executives.

While on sabbatical during the winter quarter, Professor Griffin was a visiting research scholar at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.