This paper examines the influence of labor market power in the audit profession. Using a dataset of online job postings, we confirm that audit offices in more concentrated labor markets have greater labor market power and exercise it in the form of higher skill requirements and greater required effort from their auditors, at similar or slightly lower wages. We then show that client firms of audit offices in more concentrated labor markets are less likely to restate their earnings and have lower absolute discretionary accruals. These findings are only present when employees have lower mobility across professions and geographies, consistent with audit offices’ power in the local labor market explaining the results. Collectively, our findings highlight the importance of labor market power in understanding audit quality.

Data Availability: Data are available from the sources cited in the text.

JEL Classifications: J31; J40; J42; M42; M55.

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