To read this content please select one of the options below:

State-owned enterprises' board characteristics and audit fees: an international perspective in view of economic freedom, political democracy and protection of minority shareholders

Iman Shaat (Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Husam Aldamen (Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Kim Kercher (Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Keith Duncan (Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Asian Review of Accounting

ISSN: 1321-7348

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

Issue publication date: 15 June 2023

363

Abstract

Purpose

The paper examines the relationship between board effectiveness and audit fees for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Furthermore, given the unique nature of SOEs, the paper assesses country-level influences, such as economic freedom, political democracy and protection of minority shareholders, which can impact board effectiveness and audit fees.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of two-stage and ordinary least squares regression is used to examine the board characteristics-audit fee relationship for SOEs in a multinational setting during the period from 2016 to 2018.

Findings

The results indicate that board characteristics that represent a high level of effectiveness are associated with higher audit fees in SOEs. Furthermore, the findings suggest SOE's operating in countries evidencing medium levels of democracy and economic freedom and medium to high levels of protection of minority shareholders may be motivated to reduce agency conflicts by promoting accountability and transparency, thereby demanding increasing levels of corporate governance, monitoring and audit quality, thereby increasing audit fees.

Practical implications

The results provide further support for the OECD (2015) guidelines promoting the use of high-quality external audits in SOEs.

Originality/value

As a result of the scarceness of research in this area, the current study extends the literature by examining the role of corporate governance and audit fees in SOEs, while examining the influence of economic freedom, political democracy and protection of minority shareholders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was based on the Master's thesis of one of the coauthors.

The constructive comments and suggestions provided by the anonymous reviewer is gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Shaat, I., Aldamen, H., Kercher, K. and Duncan, K. (2023), "State-owned enterprises' board characteristics and audit fees: an international perspective in view of economic freedom, political democracy and protection of minority shareholders", Asian Review of Accounting, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 460-493. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARA-09-2022-0206

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles