The development of both brand name reputation and industry specialization by Big 8 auditors is argued to be costly and therefore to increase audit fees. For a sample of 1484 Australian publicly listed companies we estimate audit fee premia for Big 8 auditors. On average, industry specialist Big 8 auditors earn a 34% premium over nonspecialist Big 8 auditors, and the Big 8 brand name premium over non-Big 8 auditors averages around 30%. These results support that industry expertise is a dimension of the demand for higher quality Big 8 audits and a basis for within Big 8 product differentiation.
Journal of Accounting and Economics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1995
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