Faculty Profile

Marleen Willekens

Adjunct Professor - Department of Accounting, Auditing and Business Analytics

Publications

Dekeyser, Simon; Gaeremynck, Ann & Willekens, Marleen (2018)

Evidence of Industry Scale Effects on Audit Hours, Billing Rates, and Pricing

Contemporary Accounting Research

Using a proprietary dataset consisting of all private firm audit engagements in 2000 from one Big 4 firm in Belgium, we investigate: (1) whether audit office industry scale is associated with a reduction of total, partner and staff audit hours and thus with efficiency gains triggered by organizational learning from servicing more clients in an industry; and (2) whether the extent of efficiency pass‐on from the auditor to its clients depends on the audit firm's market power. We find that auditor office industry scale is associated with efficiency gains and a reduction of the variable costs (i.e., fewer total audit hours, partner hours, and staff hours), ceteris paribus. Our results also suggest that, on average, realized efficiencies are entirely passed on as evidenced by a non‐significant effect of auditor industry scale on the auditor's billing rate. Furthermore, we find that the extent of the efficiency pass‐on decreases with the market power of the audit firm in the industry market segment as we document a higher billing rate for auditors with high market power (versus low market power). In addition, we find that the lower audit hours associated with auditor industry scale do not compromise audit quality.

Dutillieux, Wouter; Francis, Jere R. & Willekens, Marleen (2016)

The Spillover of SOX on Earnings Quality in Non-U.S. Jurisdictions

Accounting Horizons, 30(1), s. 23- 39. Doi: 10.2308/acch-51241

Langli, John Christian & Willekens, Marleen (2017)

Tax Avoidance, Ownership Patterns and High-Quality Auditing in Private Firms.

[Academic lecture]. EARNet 2017.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
1995 University of Warwick, Warwick Business School Ph.D.
1987 University of Gent M.A. in Business Economics
1985 University of Gent B.A. in Economics
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2012 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Adjunct professor
2009 - Present KULeuven Chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Insurance (AFI),
2008 - Present KULeuven Professor of Accounting and Auditing
2006 - 2008 Tilburg University Professor of Auditing
2003 - 2006 KULeuven Professor of Accounting and Auditing
1998 - 2003 KULeuven Associate Professor of Accounting
1995 - 1997 KULeuven Assistant Professor of Accounting
1988 - 1989 Bank Brussels Lambert (ING) Analyst