The Effect of Audit Partner Digitalization Expertise on Audit Fees

Arpine Maghakyan*, Henry Jarva, Lasse Niemi, Jukka Sihvonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study focuses on the effects of digitalization on the auditing industry and the impact of audit partner expertise in digitalization on audit fees. Using data from listed U.S. companies between 2016 and 2021, we document a statistically and economically significant audit fee premium for audit partners who specialize in digitalization. This premium is separate from the partner’s industry specialization and is strongest in industries with a high level of digitalization, especially during the first half of the sample period. Our subsample analysis shows that, while the premium appears to be diminishing in less digitalized industries, it remains significant in highly digitalized industries. This change may be due to the general increase in digitalization expertise among audit partners, leading to diminishing returns to specialization for less digitalized audits.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalEuropean Accounting Review
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 03.01.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • audit partner expertise
  • auditor specialization
  • audit fees
  • digitalization
  • audit technology

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Financial management, accounting, and governance


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