Auditor human capital and audit firm survival. The Dutch audit industry in 1930-1992

Vera Bröcheler, Steven Maijoor*, Arjen van Witteloostuijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between auditor human capital and audit firm survival. Specifically, the effects are investigated of the human capital of auditors on the survival chances of newly established audit firms. Human capital is analyzed both at the time of entry of a new audit firm and during the lifetime of an audit firm. The data set contains 1693 firms that entered into the Dutch audit market in the period 1930-1992. To analyze the data, the technique of event history analysis is applied. There are two key results of the study. First, a higher level of education of the firm's auditors, both at founding and during the lifetime of an audit firm, generally increases audit firm performance. Second, the effects of experience at founding and experience during the lifetime of an audit firm vary considerably. Higher levels of experience at founding have a positive influence on audit firm performance. However, higher levels of experience during the lifetime of an audit firm, i.e., the aging of the firm's auditors, have a negative effect on firm performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-646
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Volume29
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

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