Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Accounting

Document Type



Do tax specialists improve the accrual quality of tax accounts while simultaneously lowering effective tax rates (ETR)? Tax specialists are associated with lower ETRs. Since prior research finds that companies with lower ETRs are associated with lower financial reporting quality, companies that employ tax specialists may have lower tax accrual quality (TAQ). However, the potential for knowledge spillover and specialization effects suggests that tax specialists may simultaneously lower ETRs and improve TAQ. Thus, tax specialists can have an interesting influence on the joint effect with low ETRs on TAQ. I find that companies with lower ETRs are associated with lower TAQ. However, I find that lower ETR companies who employ tax specialists have higher TAQ. Further investigation reveals that only city-level tax specialists are associated with higher TAQ in low ETR companies, supporting a knowledge spillover effect. The results indicate that the presence of tax specialists may provide a signal of high-quality tax planning activities to potential investors, incremental to that provided by audit specialists, and thus, may be an important explanatory variable for audit and tax researchers examining the intersection of tax planning and financial reporting activities.



Committee Chair

Reichelt, Kenneth J.



Available for download on Wednesday, January 07, 2026

Included in

Accounting Commons