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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2009

Lisa A. Owens‐Jackson, Diana Robinson and Sandra Waller Shelton

In an effort to restore investor confidence in the wake of recent financial reporting scandals, the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002 mandates that audit committees be fully…

Abstract

In an effort to restore investor confidence in the wake of recent financial reporting scandals, the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002 mandates that audit committees be fully independent and have at least one financial expert. The SEC adopted rules implementing these Sarbanes‐Oxley provisions. This paper contributes to the literature on the association between audit committee characteristics recommended by SOX and the likelihood of fraud in two ways. First, we focus on audit committee composition and the extent of the underlying nature of the firm (e.g., firm size, growth) and the contracting environment (e.g., managerial ownership, leverage) of the firm on the likelihood of fraud. In particular, we find that the likelihood of fraudulent financial reporting is negatively related to audit committee independence, number of audit committee meetings and managerial ownership and positively related to firm size and firm growth opportunities. Second, we separately examine firms with totally independent audit committees and fraudulent financial reporting. This sample is interesting because these are firms that had good corporate governance and yet still had fraudulent financial reporting. By separately examining firms with totally independent audit committees, we find that the likelihood of fraudulent financial reporting given a totally independent audit committee is inversely related to the level of managerial ownership and the number of audit committee meetings.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2001

David H. Sinason, Jefferson P. Jones and Sandra Waller Shelton

The purpose of this study is to examine the duration of the auditor’s relationship with a client and factors that affect audit firm tenure. The duration of the auditor and…

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the duration of the auditor’s relationship with a client and factors that affect audit firm tenure. The duration of the auditor and client relationship has been cited as possibly affecting the risk of a loss of auditor independence. Also, audit firm tenure has been used as an independent variable in several studies with variations on the characterization of a “long auditor‐client association.” However, little is known about the duration of the auditor’s relationship with a client. Generally, no empirical justification is provided for the treatment of the variable and no consideration is included for auditor or client factors that may affect the relationship. This study evaluates the duration of the auditor relationship with a client and determines which factors contribute to changes in that relationship. In an examination of 16,976 COMPUSTAT companies over a twentyyear period, the mean duration of audit tenure is found to be more than six years. However, audit tenure is affected by client size, client growth rate, and type of audit firm involved in the change of auditor. Audit tenure is not affected by audit firm size, client risk, or audit opinion.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Sandra Waller Shelton and O. Ray Whittington

This research study aims to examine how differences in opinions on the material weaknesses identified in the auditor's assessment of the financial statements, and the…

Abstract

Purpose

This research study aims to examine how differences in opinions on the material weaknesses identified in the auditor's assessment of the financial statements, and the auditor's assessment of internal control affect investment analysts' assessment of the financial strength of the company and willingness to recommend the stock for purchase to clients. It also aims to examine how the auditor's opinion on management's assessment of internal control affects investment analysts' assessment, providing additional evidence of the appropriateness of the elimination of this requirement under Auditing Standard No. 5.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines these research questions using data from a laboratory experiment with investment analysts as participants in the study.

Findings

The findings indicate that adverse audit opinions on the effectiveness of internal control result in investment analysts making a higher assessment of company risk, a lower assessment of the strength of internal control over financial reporting, and a marginally significant difference in the likelihood of recommending stock to their client.

Research limitations/implications

These findings provide evidence that auditors' assessment of internal control risk provides information to investment analysts.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by examining the implications of Section 404 of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act on the judgment of users of financial statements.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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