Bala V. Balachandran and Daniel Simon

Audit Services and Fees of Large Accounting Firms

In the audit literature, it was postulated that audit firms are differentiated due to their quality and, thus, the fees charged are a function of quality. We hypothesize that this may lead to audit firm specialization in different amounts of auditing, leading to a differential audit fee structure. This hypothesis is empirically tested by using a very large sample of audit fees paid to then Big Eight auditors. The results are consistent with the hypothesis in that three Big Eight auditors are observed to charge significantly different fees when compared with the other firms.