Management Advisory Services (MAS) are an increasingly important part of the service mix for CPA firms. The growth of MAS relative to audit has been phenomenal over the past two decades. However, little research has been conducted on MAS provided by CPA firms. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of MAS quality from the client's perspective. To achieve this objective, 305 controllers of U.S. companies responded to a questionnaire regarding MAS provided by CPA firms. The questionnaire was designed using determinants from marketing and audit literature. Using these client perception dimensions, two types of MAS engagements were compared: those with an increase in cost during the engagement, and those with no increase in cost.
Descriptive and statistical results indicate that a 13‐item service quality scale significantly differentiates client perceptions of MAS quality. The results also reflect dimensions of service quality that are similar to existing marketing and auditing studies. In addition, in the presence of cost overruns and intentional underbidding, clients perceive lower MAS quality. The implications of these results for the accounting profession are discussed.