Industry Specialization in Italy: Interviews with Big 4 Partners

34 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2018

See all articles by Tatiana Mazza

Tatiana Mazza

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Stefano Azzali

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Economia

Kenneth John Reichelt

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Accounting

Date Written: January 24, 2018

Abstract

Little is known about how auditor industry specialization operates when mandatory audit firm rotation is in place. We interview Big 4 partners in Italy, where mandatory audit firm rotation is in place, in order to learn more about how industry specialization is acquired, how it compares to other European countries, and any trends over the past decade. We learn several key points. Industry specialization exists at the national level and the local area level in Italy. Partners seem to desire retaining industry knowledge at the national level. Industry specialization is acquired by formal and informal training from partners and managers, consulting by expert personnel to audit teams, expert quality control reviewers assigned to audit engagements, and industry documentation. The U.S. and the U.K. have more industry specialization than Italy, and it is organized within each country. Industry specialization has increased over the past decade in Italy.

Keywords: mandatory audit firm rotation; industry specialist auditors; Big 4; interviews

JEL Classification: M42, M48

Suggested Citation

Mazza, Tatiana and Azzali, Stefano and Reichelt, Kenneth John, Industry Specialization in Italy: Interviews with Big 4 Partners (January 24, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3109082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109082

Tatiana Mazza

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Sernesiplatz 1
Bozen-Bolzano, BZ 39100
Italy

Stefano Azzali

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Via Kennedy 6
Parma, Parma 43100
Italy

Kenneth John Reichelt (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Accounting ( email )

2821 Business Education Complex
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States
225-578-6233 (Phone)

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