Who are Industry Specialist Auditors?
41 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 10, 2012
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of using several definitions and several measurements of auditor industry specialization in the empirical audit research. Industry specialist auditors are supposed to be able to provide better quality audits therefore, auditor industry specialization measures have been developed and used in the empirical audit research. In a first step, we empirically test whether different definitions of auditor industry specialist result in consistent designations of audit firms as specialists of a given industry and find that inconsistent industry specialist definitions lead to inconsistent designation of audit firms as industry specialists. In a second step, we test and demonstrate that these different auditor industry designations lead to inconsistent results in terms of magnitude and significance regarding the fee premium paid to auditor industry specialists. Such evidence raises an issue of whether the findings in prior studies are subject to measurement errors of audit industry specialists.
Keywords: Auditor industry specialists, audit fees
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