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Skill Demands in the Audit Labor Market: Evidence from Job Postings

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Title:Skill Demands in the Audit Labor Market: Evidence from Job Postings
Authors:Rebecca Hann
Charles Ham
Maryjane Rabier
Wenfeng Wang
Keywords:Audit labor market
Auditor skills
Audit quality
Audit fees
Job postings
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Date Issued:31 Aug 2019
Abstract:This study examines how the demand for auditor skill sets has changed over the past decade as well as how these changes relate to audit quality and audit fees. Using a novel dataset that contains the near-universe of online job postings by accounting firms from 2007 to 2017, we find that audit firms have decreased their demand for auditors and increased their demand for IT-related personnel. We also find that audit firms are increasingly demanding expanded skill sets from their auditors—the portion of cognitive, social, and IT-related skills has increased over our sample period whereas financial skills have remained relatively flat. Further, we find substantial variation in the demand for skills not only across audit firms, but also across offices within an audit firm. More importantly, these differences in skill requirements have a significant effect on audit quality—specifically, audit offices that demand more social and cognitive skills are less likely to have clients experience subsequent restatements. Taken together, our findings provide new insights on the changing dynamics of the auditor labor market and their relations to audit quality.
Appears in Collections: 02 Auditing

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