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Do Individual Auditors Affect Audit Quality? Evidence from Archival Data

52 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2011 Last revised: 19 Sep 2015

Ferdinand A. Gul

Monash University Sunway Campus

Donghui Wu

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Zhifeng Yang

Stony Brook University

Date Written: April 12, 2013

Abstract

We examine whether and how individual auditors affect audit outcomes using a large set of archival Chinese data. We analyze about 800 individual auditors and find that they exhibit significant variation in audit quality. The effects that individual auditors have on audit quality are both economically and statistically significant, and are pronounced in both large and small audit firms. We also find that the individual auditor effects on audit quality can be partially explained by auditor characteristics, such as educational background, Big N audit firm experience, rank in the audit firm, and political affiliation. Our findings highlight the importance of scrutinizing and understanding audit quality at the individual auditor level.

Keywords: individual auditor, audit quality, auditor characteristics, archival research

Suggested Citation

Gul, Ferdinand A. and Wu, Donghui and Yang, Zhifeng, Do Individual Auditors Affect Audit Quality? Evidence from Archival Data (April 12, 2013). Accounting Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1888424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1888424

Ferdinand A. Gul

Monash University Sunway Campus ( email )

Jalan Lagoon Selatan
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Bandar Sunway, 46150
Malaysia

Donghui Wu (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong ( email )

Sha Tin
N.T.
Hong Kong
852-3943 7836 (Phone)
852-2603 5114 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/index.php?option=com_sobipro&sid=470

Zhifeng Yang

Stony Brook University ( email )

Health Science Center
Level 3, Room 043
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8322
United States

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