Archival Research on Audit Partners: Assessing the Research Field and Recommendations for Future Research
Accounting & Finance, Forthcoming
51 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 4, 2020
In this paper, we assess the existing archival research on audit partners and provide recommendations for future research. Our empirical analyses suggest that the audit partner characteristics with the biggest impact are industry specialization and client importance. We demonstrate that audit partner studies may suffer from omitted variable bias if they study audit partner characteristics in isolation, as they have often done. We also show that for most audit partner characteristics there is little within-company and within-partner variation. We therefore caution against routinely including company and audit partner fixed effects in audit partner studies. We also examine the importance of properly adjusting for dependence in the data in audit partner studies and suggest to cluster standard errors at the client firm level. Finally, we provide detailed descriptive information at the audit partner level in order to demonstrate how researchers could improve the reporting of audit partner level data.
Keywords: audit partners, endogeneity, fixed effects, clustering, gender, experience, industry specialization, tenure, client importance, portfolio size
JEL Classification: M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation