This paper examines audit costs for government business enterprises in various Australian jurisdictions, focusing on whether contracting private-sector suppliers induces competitive pricing and hence lower-priced audits. One jurisdiction (New South Wales) is shown to have low levels of contracting-out. It is argued that this lowers price competition and therefore, we predict, audit costs in NSW will be higher than elsewhere in Australia. An empirical comparison shows that, controlling for other factors, NSW is statistically significantly more expensive than other Australian jurisdictions. Alternative explanations relating to variation in audit quality, jurisdiction differences and relative cost are also discussed.
Australian Accounting Review,
Vol. 12, no. 28 (Nov 2002), pp. 50-57