Audit team attributes matter: how diversity affects audit quality

Angela Kate Pettinicchio, Mara Cameran, Angelo Ditillo, Angela Pettinicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


How audit teams are structured and function plays a crucial role in determining the level of audit service quality. Despite this claim, little empirical research has been conducted on this effect. Using private data from two of the Big 4 audit firms, we fill this gap and document how diversity of audit teams influences audit quality. By combining the existing work in psychology and sociology with that in auditing, we develop our model by arguing that teams are composed not simply of single auditors but of sub-teams of individuals whose various combinations affect team performance. Starting from this premise, we study how the diversity of audit teams in terms of the different mix of work assigned to staff, seniors, managers, and partners influences audit quality and how this effect varies depending upon years of tenure. We also show that the proportion of leading auditors characterized by a common educational background and the percentage of female leading auditors affect audit quality. As an additional analysis, we examine how team diversity affects audit efficiency. The same elements found relevant for audit quality also affect audit efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-621
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Publication statusPublished - 2018




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