Career advancement in audit firms: An empirical study of university-educated and non university-educated Dutch auditors

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This study examines factors which affect the career advancement of university-educated as well as non university-educated Dutch auditors. Career advancement is measured in terms of promotion to partner and promotion velocity. The explanatory variables are education, age at qualification, audit firm size and change of audit firm. The findings, based on data obtained from the membership lists of the Dutch professional body of auditors, indicate that university-educated auditors are more likely to become partners and advance faster towards partnership. However, the findings also show that greater age at qualification decreases the probability of progressing to partnership. Since university graduates qualify at an earlier age, the main reason behind the enhanced performance of university educated auditors appears to be their more rapid advancement towards qualification as auditors. Furthermore, promotion velocity is positively related to age at qualification and is negatively related to audit firm size and change of audit firm. Also, auditors of large firms or auditors who change audit firm have a lower probability of attaining partnership. The findings further indicated that university-educated auditors, as compared to non university-educated auditors, are more likely to leave the audit firm and at an earlier stage if they cannot attain a partnership.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-50
    Number of pages16
    JournalAccounting Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Cite this