The impact of client information technology capability on audit pricing

Benjamin W. Hoffman, R. Drew Sellers, Justyna Skomra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper explores the question: “How does a client's information technology (IT) capability influence audit pricing?” Company data for the years 2004 through 2012 are employed. Firms appearing on the InformationWeek 500 (IW500) annual list of U.S. organizations with superior IT functions serve as a proxy for companies with superior IT capability. Our findings suggest that companies with superior IT capabilities incur higher levels of audit fees. In addition, as client size increases, the audit fees of firms with advanced IT capabilities increase at a greater rate than firms without such capabilities. These findings contrast with prior research by Chen et al. (2014) that found in the immediate post-Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) period for the years 2004 through 2007, client IT capability reduced audit fee increases. In addition, we replicate the Chen et al. (2014) results and find that IT capability did not influence audit fee increases during the subsequent recession and recovery periods. Further, superior capability clients see smaller audit fee increases when exogenous shocks such as SOX regulations occur. These results suggest a revised interpretation of Chen et al. (2014) may be warranted. This study contributes to the literature by providing a more complete picture of how a client's IT capability affects audit fees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-75
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting Information Systems
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information Systems and Management


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