Despite evidence suggesting that specialised knowledge should be more relevant than generic knowledge to explain different levels of audit quality across individual auditors, no study to date has addressed the respective impacts of the industry-specific and the generic audit experience of audit partners on the quality of audit services. Our study investigates this issue in the Spanish audit market. We proxy audit quality by discretionary accruals and by the opinion of the audit report, and differentiate among client-specific experience, 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 stronger industry-specific audit experience. Furthermore, we observe that neither client-specific experience nor generic audit experience of audit partners are significant determinants of the quality of audit services provided by these auditors. These results may have some interesting implications for audit firms. Therefore, whereas some prior studies on the related issue of industry specialization point out that specialised knowledge is more relevant than generic knowledge to explain the quality of audit services, our findings suggest that specialised knowledge is, in fact, the only type of knowledge that seems to matter.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Learning by doing? partners audit experience and the quality of audit services
|Number of pages
|Revista de Contabilidad-Spanish Accounting Review
|Published - 2020