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Article

Santanu Mitra, Bikki Jaggi and Talal Al-Hayale

The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of managerial stock ownership on the relationship between material internal control weaknesses (ICW) and audit fees.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of managerial stock ownership on the relationship between material internal control weaknesses (ICW) and audit fees.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses multivariate regression analyses on a sample of 1,578 ICW and 1,578 pair-matched (based on both propensity score and managerial stock ownership) non-ICW firm observations for a period from 2004 to 2010 to investigate how managerial incentive at various stock ownership levels impacts the relationship between material ICW and audit fees.

Findings

For the firms with low managerial stock ownership (up to 5 per cent stockholdings), the authors find no significant effect of managerial ownership on the positive relationship between audit fees and ICW. However, the impact of managerial stock ownership on the relationship between ICW and audit fees is significantly positive when managerial ownership is medium, i.e. more than 5 per cent and less than or equal to 25 per cent stockholdings, and the managerial ownership effect is even higher when managerial stock ownership is high, i.e. more than 25 per cent stockholdings. The result is especially robust for the ICW firms with high managerial stock ownership (i.e. where managers hold more than 25 per cent equity stake in the firms). The additional analyses further show that this managerial ownership effect is more pronounced when the firms suffer from company-level material control weaknesses that have pervasive negative effect on financial reporting quality.

Research limitations/implications

The results imply that in a low managerial ownership firms with substantial misalignment between manager and shareholder incentives, managerial stock ownership has little effect on the ICW and audit fee relationship. But when managers’ ownership interest is at a high level, they are more prone to purchase higher-quality audit service to reduce the risk of financial misstatements due to material ICW, which results in higher audit fees. The results add to the audit fee literature by suggesting that managerial incentive at various ownership levels is a critical governance factor that impacts auditor’s fee structure especially when higher reporting risk exists due to material ICW.

Originality/value

Prior literature documents that there is some relationship between managerial attributes and earnings quality; however, there is no substantive empirical evidence on the effect of managerial stock ownership on audit pricing when client companies face higher risk of financial misreporting as a result of material ICW. In this study, the authors seek answers to these empirical questions and fill the gap in the literature.

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Book part

Alexandra L. Ferrentino, Meghan L. Maliga, Richard A. Bernardi and Susan M. Bosco

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…

Abstract

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-973-2

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Article

Mahmud Hossain, Barry R. Marks and Santanu Mitra

The ownership structure of a corporation can alleviate the agency problem that arises between shareholders and managers of a corporation, which implies that the ownership…

Abstract

The ownership structure of a corporation can alleviate the agency problem that arises between shareholders and managers of a corporation, which implies that the ownership composition of a firm may infl uence the level of voluntary disclosure. This study investigates whether the ownership structure of U. S. based multinational corporations affects the managerial decision to voluntarily disclose quarterly foreign segment data. The empirical results show that the three ownership variables of interest, institutional stock ownership, managerial stock ownership and outside blockholder stock ownership are inversely related to the level of voluntary disclosure of quarterly foreign segment data. Therefore, it is inferred that an increase in the proportion of outstanding common stock held by these ownership groups is accompanied by a decrease in the probability that a U.S. multinational firm voluntarily discloses quarterly foreign segment data.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article

Santanu Mitra and Mahmud Hossain

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between corporate governance attributes in the form of board and ownership characteristics and the remediation of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between corporate governance attributes in the form of board and ownership characteristics and the remediation of internal control material weaknesses (ICMW) reported under Section 404 of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs multivariate logistic regression models for a sample of 528 firms having ICMW as per their auditors' attestation reports during the fiscal periods of 2004, 2005 and 2006 to investigate the empirical relationships between board and ownership characteristics, and remediation of control weaknesses in subsequent fiscal years.

Findings

The board diligence, CEO‐independent board, and managerial, institutional and dominant shareholdings are all positively and significantly associated with the ICMW remediation of the sample firms in the presence of other firm‐specific variables in the analysis. The results also suggest that, in general, the ownership characteristics play a greater role in the firms' remediation action than the board‐related factors except board diligence. The separate sub‐sample tests demonstrate that board diligence and several stock ownership characteristics are positively and significantly associated with a firm's action to remediate both the systematic and non‐systematic internal control weaknesses though the results are more robust for non‐systematic control weaknesses.

Research limitations/implications

A useful extension is to conduct a detailed analysis of the effect of audit committee characteristics in conjunction with board and ownership characteristics on firms' remediation action in a setting where ICMW firms take such action at a differential pace that may continue over two or more fiscal periods. Further, the present study examines the empirical associations between variables of interest, and does not, by virtue of its results, establish any cause‐and‐effect relationship between governance attributes and timeliness in ICMW remediation. Finally, this research can be extended to a detailed analysis of the types of systematic and non‐systematic control weaknesses, their probable effect on firms' financial reporting process and the role of corporate governance in timeliness of management's remediation action for different types of internal control problems.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the existing literature on corporate governance and financial reporting quality by documenting the association between a firm's board and ownership characteristics and management's immediate action to remediate internal control problems that ultimately impacts the quality of reported accounting information. The study complements prior studies on ICMW remediation and accrual quality by demonstrating that the effective monitoring by board and large, sophisticated shareholders as well as greater alignment of manager‐shareholder interests ensures more timeliness in remediation of internal control weaknesses and improves financial reporting quality.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

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Article

Santanu Mitra

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between pervasiveness, severity, and remediation of internal control material weakness (ICMW) reported by the SEC…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between pervasiveness, severity, and remediation of internal control material weakness (ICMW) reported by the SEC registrants pursuant to SOX Section 404 and audit fees.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs multivariate regression models for a sample of 854 firms that disclosed ICMW for the first time in 2004, 2005, or 2006, to investigate the empirical relationship of pervasiveness and severity of ICMW and its subsequent remediation with audit fees.

Findings

The analyses demonstrate that audit fees are significantly positively related to the severity (and pervasiveness) of ICMW in the years of ICMW disclosures and are significantly negatively related to the remediation of internal control weaknesses in the years when ICMW remediation took place. The test results further demonstrate that the remediation of systematic control weaknesses has a greater effect on reduction of audit fees compared to the remediation of nonsystematic (transaction/account related) control weaknesses, though the remediation of both systematic and nonsystematic control weaknesses is accompanied by audit fee declines.

Research limitations/implications

The study produces evidence on pricing audit services by incumbent auditors in response to the severity of internal material control weaknesses and their remediation in subsequent fiscal periods. Its results shed light on certain new aspects of audit fee determinants in the post‐SOX period by virtue of their implications that the pervasiveness and severity of internal control problems induce auditors to make an upward fee adjustment while their remediation has a moderating effect on pricing audit services.

Originality/value

The study's finding is a useful addition to the existing fee literature and is relevant for the post‐SOX world which experienced a structural change in financial accounting and auditing environment.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

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Article

Santanu Mitra, Mahmud Hossain and Barry R. Marks

The purpose of the paper is to examine the association between the corporate ownership characteristics and the timely remediation of internal control weaknesses over…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the association between the corporate ownership characteristics and the timely remediation of internal control weaknesses over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs both ordered and binary logistic regression models for a sample of 695 US firms who reported internal control weaknesses for the first time, pursuant to SOX Section 404, and evaluates the impact of the stock ownership characteristics on the timeliness in remediation of their control weaknesses.

Findings

The test results show that the corporate ownership characteristics, as a part of governance mechanism, play an incrementally critical role to influence firms' decisions to promptly remediate their internal control problems and improve the reliability of financial information. In addition, it was also found that a corporate board independent of its CEO is effective in monitoring timely remediation of control problems. Sub‐sample analyses for the company‐level and account‐specific internal control weaknesses produce similar results in support of the effect of corporate stock ownership characteristics on the timely remediation of internal control weaknesses.

Originality/value

First, the paper adds to the literature by demonstrating the incremental effect of the stock ownership characteristics on a firm's timeliness in remediation of control weaknesses, even after controlling the effect of audit committee and board characteristics in the analysis. Second, the paper shows that even in the post‐SOX years with enhanced regulatory oversight in corporate affairs, the effect of corporate ownership attributes as a part of governance is incrementally observable in a situation that calls for prompt managerial action to ensure the reliability of financial information. Third, for the first time, the study makes a separate detailed analysis on the association between the stock ownership attributes and the remediation of company‐level and account‐specific control weaknesses. The results provide valuable insights into the ownership governance effect on the remediation of the two types of control weaknesses that have different rigor, auditability (more or less auditable), and effects (pervasive or non‐pervasive) on financial reporting quality. Fourth, the study further enhances one's understanding of several important governance factors that help achieve a sound financial reporting system and restore investors' confidence in the system.

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Article

Santanu Mitra, Donald R. Deis and Mahmud Hossain

The purpose of this paper is to examine the empirical association between expected and unexpected audit fees and reported earnings quality for a sample of Big 4(5) client…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the empirical association between expected and unexpected audit fees and reported earnings quality for a sample of Big 4(5) client companies over a period from 2000 to 2005.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a cross‐sectional multiple regression model for a sample of 1,142 firms (6,852 firm‐years) covering a time period of six years comprising 2000 to 2005 to evaluate the relationship between both expected and unexpected audit fees and performance‐adjusted discretionary accruals that are estimated from the extended version of the modified Jones model.

Findings

The paper finds that both expected and unexpected audit fees are associated with an increase in earnings quality, as indicated by the reduction of both absolute and signed discretionary accrual adjustments. Furthermore, in some analyses these associations are found to persist into the post‐Sarbanes‐Oxley Act (SOX) period. The main results hold in sensitivity tests that involve using both the absolute and signed unexpected audit fees as independent variables and in tests that use both the absolute and signed current accruals as dependent variables of interest.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that audit efforts consistent with client‐specific business attributes and reflected in expected audit fees mitigate financial reporting biases, the effect of which is incrementally observable to some extent in the post‐SOX period as well. Unexpected audit fees, a proxy for fee surprise arising out of auditor‐client‐specific contractual situations, are also associated with an increase in earnings quality. The association is, in some analyses, significant for the post‐SOX years. The test results do not exhibit any evidence of auditor independence problems associated with high expected and unexpected audit fees; a result that supports the “reputation protection” argument for auditors' reporting decisions.

Originality/value

In a time period surrounding the introduction of SOX when nonaudit consulting services have severely been restricted, and the audit fee growth for publicly traded companies have been dramatic, an analysis of this nature potentially produces valuable insights into the auditors' fee decision, audit efforts, and auditor independence issue. The study looks into a new perspective concerning the relationship between audit fees and financial reporting practice over the two regulatory regimes, pre‐ and post‐SOX.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

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Article

Mahmud Hossain, Santanu Mitra and Zabihollah Rezaee

This study aims to examine the incremental valuation implication of excess realized tax benefit under Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) No. 123R…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the incremental valuation implication of excess realized tax benefit under Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) No. 123R: share‐based payment (123R excess tax benefit), which is required to be reported as a component of financing cash flows by the publicly traded corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample comprises of Standard and Poor's (S&P); large‐, mid‐ and small‐cap firms who adopted SFAS No. 123(R) on January 1, 2006. The study covers a time period of the first and second quarters of 2006.

Findings

The multivariate regression analyses indicate that the capital market evaluates the SFAS 123R excess tax benefit in presence of accruals, and operating, investing and other financing cash‐flow components at different rates in pricing equity securities.

Research limitations/implications

The primary results, however, are mostly restricted to large‐ and mid‐cap S&P firms. No incremental valuation consequence of SFAS 123R excess tax benefits for small‐cap S&P firms is observed.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that the 123R excess tax benefit reported as a financing cash‐flow component is incrementally informative in equity valuation but the timing and extent of its market valuation is impacted by firm size, its visibility and information environment, and the magnitude of the excess realized tax benefit in dollar terms.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Fraud Exposed
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-418-8

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Article

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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