This paper investigates the implied assumption, made in many audit fee determination studies, that, within a given audit firm, all partners produce a statistically identical level of audit quality and earn a statistically identical level of audit fees. This is referred to as the “homogeneity assumption.” However, this is contradicted by the individual auditor behavioral literature, which shows that different individual auditor characteristics can have an impact on audit quality. Given the fact that audit partners differ in their quality, this paper hypothesizes that different audit partners will be able to earn differing levels of fees. This hypothesis is tested by estimating an audit fee model using data from 822 Australian publicly listed companies for the year 2005. Australia is an ideal audit market for this research, as the disclosure of the name of the audit engagement partner in the audit report is mandatory. The empirical results indicate that individual audit partners earn individual audit fee premiums (or discounts) that are not explainable by the audit firms of which they are members.
Data Availability: All data have been extracted from publicly available sources.