This study aims to investigate the effect of high insider ownership on firms’ internal controls over financial reporting. In particular, it examines how high insider ownership affects the likelihood of an adverse Sarbanes–Oxley Act Section (SOX Section 404) opinion and its subsequent remediation.
Tests of hypotheses use ineffective controls and remediation models. The initial tests in this study use ineffective internal controls over financial reporting probit regression models to investigate how high insider ownership affects the ex-post likelihood of an adverse 404 opinion. Two remediation models – a multinominal probit regression and probit regression model – are used to investigate the effect of high insider ownership on the likelihood of successfully remediating an adverse 404 opinion.
Results show that while the ex-ante likelihood of an adverse SOX Section 404 auditor’s internal control opinion increases with high insider ownership, high insider ownership firms are more likely to remediate ineffective 404 controls. This study rationalizes these diverse findings by asserting that prior to an adverse 404 opinion, entrenched managers avoid internal control financial reporting oversight and monitoring. After an adverse opinion, however, and within the context of an imminent and explicit value reducing 404 opinion, powerful high insider owner managers are motivated to remedy ineffective controls.
This research synthesizes existing streams of literature on insider ownership and the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting quality to provide new information on the effects of high insider ownership on firms’ internal controls.
Diala, L. and Houmes, R. (2019), "The impact of high insider ownership on SOX 404 internal controls", Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-03-2019-0087Download as .RIS
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