Learning by doing? Partners audit experience and the quality of audit services


García-Blandon, Josep; Argilés-Bosch, Josep María; Ravenda, Diego


Despite evidence suggesting that specialised knowledge should be more relevant than generic knowledgeto explain different levels of audit quality across individual auditors, no study to date has addressed therespective impacts of the industry-specific and the generic audit experience of audit partners on the qualityof audit services. Our study investigates this issue in the Spanish audit market. We proxy audit qualityby discretionary accruals and by the opinion of the audit report, and differentiate among client-specificexperience, industry-specific experience and generic audit experience of individual auditors. As expected,our results show significantly higher audit quality when the client is audited by a partner with strongerindustry-specific audit experience. Furthermore, we observe that neither client-specific experience nor gen-eric audit experience of audit partners are significant determinants of the quality of audit services providedby these auditors. These results may have some interesting implications for audit firms. Therefore, whereassome prior studies on the related issue of industry specialization point out that specialised knowledge ismore relevant than generic knowledge to explain the quality of audit services, our findings suggest thatspecialised knowledge is, in fact, the only type of knowledge that seems to matter.








Revista de Contabilidad-Spanish Accounting Review, Julio 2020, v.23, n.2, p.197-209

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