The purpose of this podcast series is to highlight and showcase the excellent research being published in AAA journals…AND explore its relevance and importance to the practice community.

Employee Satisfaction and Work-life Balance in Accounting Firms and Audit Quality

Hosted by Steve Matzke


The PCAOB’s audit-quality framework posits that superior inputs are essential for achieving high audit quality, and these inputs depend on the accounting firm’s ability to recruit and retain quality personnel. However, the link between these inputs and audit quality has gone largely unexplored due to a lack of data. In their paper, “Employee Satisfaction and Work–Life Balance in Accounting Firms and Audit Quality”, published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Vol? No.? authors Jagan Krishnan and Joshua Khavis , use employee-level reviews of accounting firm employers from Glassdoor.com to examine perceptions of these inputs, and test whether accounting firms’ internal characteristics explain employee satisfaction and audit quality. Although work–life balance is not among the most important factors that are associated with audit employees’ overall satisfaction, better work–life balance is nonetheless associated with higher audit quality.


Jagan (Krish) Krishnan, Ph.D., C.A., CICA, is a Professor and Merves Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Accounting at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. His research interests are in the areas of audit quality, corporate governance, auditor litigation, regulation, and fraudulent financial reporting. He previously served as Editor of Accounting Horizons and currently serves on the editorial boards of the Accounting Review, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, and Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance. Prior to entering academia, he worked in the audit and consulting divisions of affiliates of EY and KPMG.

Joshua Khavis is an assistant professor of accounting at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He received his PhD in accounting from Temple University in 2019. He teaches Data Analytics for Accountants at the graduate level and his research interests include financial accounting, auditing, and answering elusive accounting questions with big data.

George Krull is a Grant Thornton LLP retired Partner. He served as a Trustee and President of the AICPA Foundation. He currently Co-Chairs the Missouri Society of CPAs Educational Foundation Board and is the Global Advisor for the University of Scranton’s DBA program in Accounting. He received his undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, and Michigan State University, respectively.