Recent changes in the audit and financial reporting environment have resulted in longer audit report lags and have increased the importance of identifying factors associated with a timely audit. We examine timeliness implications of office-specific attributes of the audit firm. Specifically, we examine whether office-specific industry expertise, office size, and the importance of the client to the local office are associated with audit delay (i.e., the time between fiscal year-end and the audit report date). We explore the sensitivity of our results to various measures and consider the impact of earnings quality. We examine two types of industry expertise and whether the aforementioned audit firm attributes are associated with a propensity to issue an early earnings announcement. We find that office-specific industry expertise is negatively associated with audit delay (for all but the largest quartile of firm offices) while office size and client importance are both positively associated with audit delay; however, the most important clients are associated with a more timely audit. Office-specific industry expertise is positively associated with the propensity to announce earnings substantially early and such expertise garnered via a product-specialist strategy is positively associated with audit delay relative to a low-cost specialist strategy. Our study provides further support for the importance of office-specific characteristics on audit and financial reporting outcomes and provides evidence of the benefit of office-specific industry expertise.

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