Auditor Skill Demands and Audit Quality: Evidence from Job Postings

64 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2021 Last revised: 14 Sep 2023

See all articles by Charles (Chad) Ham

Charles (Chad) Ham

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business

Rebecca N. Hann

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

MaryJane Rabier

Washington University in St. Louis

Wenfeng Wang

Southern University of Science and Technology

Date Written: Aug 1, 2023

Abstract

This study empirically examines the relation between audit quality and auditors’ cognitive and social skills. Using a novel dataset of online job postings by accounting firms, we document substantial variation in the stated demand for auditors’ cognitive and social skills, suggesting that audit offices are not homogeneous in their preferences for such skills. We find a positive relation between audit quality and the prevalence of cognitive and social skills within an audit office’s job postings. This association is stronger for audit engagements that are more complex or require greater coordination, suggesting that cognitive and social skills are particularly important in engagements where effective communication and knowledge transfer, as well as sound professional judgement and skepticism, are needed. The association is also stronger for audit offices with greater investments in new technology, consistent with the complementary relation between cognitive and social skills and the use of technology. Overall, our study offers among the first empirical evidence linking specific auditor skills to audit quality.

Keywords: Auditor skill demands, audit quality, job postings

Suggested Citation

Ham, Charles and Hann, Rebecca N. and Rabier, MaryJane and Wang, Wenfeng, Auditor Skill Demands and Audit Quality: Evidence from Job Postings (Aug 1, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3727495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3727495

Charles Ham (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business ( email )

1309 East Tenth Street
Indianapolis, IN 47405-1701
United States

Rebecca N. Hann

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

MaryJane Rabier

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

Wenfeng Wang

Southern University of Science and Technology ( email )

Shenzhen, Guangdong
China

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