What matters in audit pricing: industry specialization or overall market leadership?

Blackwell Publishing Asia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Accounting and Finance, 2006, 46 (1), pp. 97 - 106
Issue Date:
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Ferguson et al. (2003) report that audit industry fee premia primarily reside with joint national and city-specific industry leadership as opposed to merely firm-wide (national) industry expertise, suggesting auditor choice among the Big 5 is best conceptualized on joint industry specialization in city-specific markets and nationally. The present study examines whether the prior results could be confounded by the presence of city-specific overall market leadership effects. Our findings reaffirm that joint local and national auditor industry expertise is valued by audit clients. Furthermore, overall city-specific leadership, by itself, also matters in fee determination and results in higher fees, although at a slightly weaker level of statistical significance
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