Client Industry Competition and Auditor Industry Concentration

Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Forthcoming

Posted: 19 Jul 2005

See all articles by Jayanthi Krishnan

Jayanthi Krishnan

Temple University - Department of Accounting


This study examines the association between auditor concentration and intra-industry competition in the client industry. It has been suggested that competition within the client industry may cause some firms to seek auditors that are not associated with their competitors, due to concerns of loss of proprietary information. Prior studies (Kwon 1996; Hogan and Jeter 1999) examining the association between auditor industry concentration and client industry competition have yielded opposite results. I attempt to reconcile these conflicting findings by using an additional measure of client industry competition (i.e., the speed of adjustment of abnormal profits) and by controlling for industry size. My results indicate that auditor industry concentration is negatively associated with the degree of competition within the client industry, regardless of the measure of auditor industry concentration used. Thus, although the average level of auditor industry concentration is generally high, there is some evidence that a more competitive industry has lower auditor concentration. One implication of this result is that involuntary audit market changes (e.g., Andersen's demise) that reduce the number of audit firms available, may counter some of the effect of client industry competition in limiting auditor industry concentration.

Keywords: Auditor Industry Concentration, Auditor Concentration, Intra-Industry Competition

JEL Classification: M1, M43, M49, L84

Suggested Citation

Krishnan, Jayanthi, Client Industry Competition and Auditor Industry Concentration. Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Jayanthi Krishnan (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-3085 (Phone)

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