The Impact of Auditor Industry Specialization on the Retention and Growth of Audit Clients
Accounting though Journal Ain-Shams University, Faculty of Commerce. Volume No.1, year 20, ISSN: 2356-8402.
36 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2019 Last revised: 10 Jun 2019
Date Written: January 29, 2016
The effect of the economic financial crisis worldwide has increased the need for auditors to provide a high quality services to their clients. An important element considered by clients for selecting their auditors is whether the audit firm has specialization in particular industry. Audit firm industry specialization provides clients with value for money services to help management achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. Other benefits for audit firms may include increased market share, audit tenure, better financial reporting and less earnings management, audit quality with less restatements of financial information, appropriate audit fees, less exposure to litigation risk, less enforceable action by supervisory bodies and ability to compete in highly competitive environment. Specialization was also seen as critical for the survival of the auditing profession.
This research analyzes the effects of audit firm industry specialization on the retention of the audit firm and growth in its business. Factors such as whether the firm is a big 4, with international affiliation, local firm, type of industry and growth were also studied for audit firm retention and growth. The sample studied includes the top 100 publicly held companies’ annual reports in the Egyptian stock market during the period 2007-2011 which are analyzed to determine the audit firms’ retention and growth. The results support that industry specialization has an important effect on the auditor’s retention especially for industry where capital investment is significant such as building, construction, financial services and housing and real estate. Big 4 audit firms retained their clients due to their industry specialization and brand name. The findings provided evidence that good knowledge of accounting & auditing standards resulted in audit firms with international affiliation competing with big 4 for clients’ retention & growth in business. The result also showed some evidence that the auditing profession in Egypt is dominated by the big 4 and the Central Audit Organization.
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