Non-Big 4 Local Market Leadership and Its Effect on Competition
Posted: 9 Aug 2013 Last revised: 16 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 28, 2015
This study examines local characteristics associated with non-Big 4 local market leadership and the impact of non-Big 4 local market leadership on competition. We identify non-Big 4 local market leaders by collecting accounting firm rankings from business publications for 46 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas from 2005-2010. These rankings are based on the number of local office employees and provide a more holistic measure of office size than measures based on public company audit fees. We find local supply and demand factors are significantly associated with non-Big 4 local market leadership and that non-Big 4 leadership is associated with lower overall audit fees in the local market. We also find that non-Big 4 leaders earn a fee premium over other non-Big 4 auditors. Our results imply that non-Big 4 leaders increase local market competition.
Keywords: local audit market; Big 4 market competition; audit fee premium
JEL Classification: M41
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