Abstract Background: Community acquired pneumonia is one of the most common infections for which antibiotics are prescribed in Australia. Methods: We audited empiric antibiotic prescribing for 392 adults with community-acquired pneumonia. Results: Only 61.9% of patients received empiric antibiotic coverage for both typical and atypical pathogens. Of those who required intensive care unit management, 34.6% did not receive antibiotic cover for atypical pneumonia pathogens within the first 24 h. Approximately 21.9% of patients reporting antibiotic allergies were given antibiotics to which they had a documented allergy. Conclusion: Efforts to improve prescribing practices could be focused towards identifying patients with severe illness early and improving recognition of documented allergies.