Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore why audit assistants leave the audit profession. By including both the perceptions held by audit assistants that left the audit profession and the perceptions of audit assistants still working in the audit profession, this study aims to explore how determinants of job satisfaction are associated with decisions to leave the audit profession.
Design/methodology/approach – To explore the association between determinants of job satisfaction and decisions to leave, a survey was developed based on a literature review of determinants of job satisfaction. The survey was sent to both current and former Swedish audit assistants. The subsequent analysis was based on 231 complete surveys, of which 78 were from former audit assistants.
Findings – The main ﬁnding of this study is that there is a negative association between the choice to leave the profession and audit assistants’ perceptions of the profession and between the choice to leave and work-life balance. Another ﬁnding was that met expectations and Big 4 were found to be positively associated with career change.
Originality/value – By approaching both current and former audit assistants, this study contributes to the literature on audit employee turnover by exploring determinants of actual career change, rather than turnover y identifying and testing a variable not previously used as a determinant of jobsatisfaction, namely, perceptions of the audit profession.
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