We examine whether and how individual auditors affect audit outcomes using a large set of archival Chinese data. We analyze approximately 800 individual auditors and find that they exhibit significant variation in audit quality. The effects that individual auditors have on audit quality are both economically and statistically significant, and are pronounced in both large and small audit firms. We also find that the individual auditor effects on audit quality can be partially explained by auditor characteristics, such as educational background, Big N audit firm experience, rank in the audit firm, and political affiliation. Our findings highlight the importance of scrutinizing and understanding audit quality at the individual auditor level.

Data Availability: Data used in this study are publicly available from the sources described herein.

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