The Association between Audit Partner Rotation and Audit Fees: Empirical Evidence from the Australian Market
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We examine the relation between audit partner rotation and audit fees for a sample of Australian firms from 2007 to 2010. We find a significant positive association between audit fees and partner rotation in the year of rotation. The association persists in the first year post rotation and to a lesser extent in the second year post rotation. Our analysis suggests that higher audit fees are associated with both mandatory and voluntary partner rotation. However, when we divide the sample into large global clients, mid-level clients and small local clients, we find that mandatory and voluntary rotation are associated with higher audit fees for large global clients while only voluntary rotation is associated with higher audit fees for small local clients. We do not find an association between partner rotation and audit fees for mid-level clients. Our study suggests that the extent to which firms are able to pass on the costs of partner rotation varies across different segments of the audit market.
Auditing and Accountability