Risk disclosures are among the most important types of non-financial information valued by the investors. Risk disclosures are mostly narrative and proprietary in nature; consequently, their accuracy and assurance are highly important to prevent disclosures from becoming boilerplate and losing their relevance. By exploiting the unique features of a setting where risk disclosure is mandatory and under a positive assurance requirement, we investigate whether the quality of audited risk disclosures is associated with the type of audit firm (Big-4 versus non-Big-4), the characteristics of the audit firm, and the attributes of the audit partner. Our results show an association between risk disclosure quality and auditors, but not in the expected ways. After the enforcement of a regulation requiring a detailed description of risks in the Operating and Financial Review (OFR) and a positive assurance of external audit over these disclosures, we do not document any significant Big-4 effect. The quality of risk disclosures is associated with the attributes of the audit partner, namely, familiarity with different client risk disclosures, industry expertise, and gender, independently of an affiliation with a Big-4 audit firm. Along these lines, we extend recent evidence on the audit partner effects in the assurance of non-financial narrative information.
- Nonfinancial information
- risk disclosure
- positive assurance
- audit partner characteristics