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Audit Client Satisfaction and Engagement Profitability Open Access


Other title
service quality
audit markets
realization rates
customer satisfaction
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hoang, Kristina Jane
Supervisor and department
Jamal, Karim (Accounting, Operations and Information Systems)
Examining committee member and department
Robert Knechel (Fisher School of Accounting, University of Florida)
Roy Suddaby (Strategic Management and Organization)
Maier, Michael (Accounting, Operations and Information Systems)
Bill Foster (Management, University of Alberta - Augustana Campus)
Heather Wier (Accounting, Operations and Information Systems)
Faculty of Business
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This study examines client satisfaction and engagement profitability for a Big 4 audit firm. I obtain proprietary client data from the firm’s national office, including satisfaction survey responses and profitability (realization) rates. I examine the roles of service quality dimensions that are distinguished by the audit firm and its clients. In my models of satisfaction ratings and realization rates, I control for abnormal discretionary accruals, as well as client and engagement characteristics, such as client size, financial performance, industry, and billed hours. I find that audit clients’ satisfaction is determined primarily by their perceptions of the audit firm’s service customization and responsiveness. Engagement profitability is positively associated clients’ with perceptions of communications effectiveness. The assignment of expert audit personnel contributes to engagement profitability, but not to client satisfaction.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Chapter 1: Introduction
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