We find that auditor industry expertise is both a firm-level and partner-level phenomenon, which suggests that industry expertise captured by accounting firms is dispersed among engagement partners through knowledge sharing and transfers within audit firms. We also find that the higher audit fees by expert auditors are due to more hours and not higher rates. While spending more hours allows expert auditors to extract higher fees in total, the finding that expert firms/partners exert greater effort does not support the suggestion that expert auditors are in general more efficient in audit production. However, we find weak evidence that audit hours for expert auditors are lower in industries and companies with homogenous operations and comparable accounting than in other industries and companies. This finding suggests that knowledge transfers more likely take place in homogeneous and comparable industries, leading to production efficiency that moderates the increase in audit hours charged by experts.
JEL Classifications: M4; M42.
Data Availability: All data are available from the identified sources.