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Durham e-Theses
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The Relationship Between Governance Practices, Audit Quality and Earnings Management: UK Evidence

BASIRUDDIN, ROHAIDA (2011) The Relationship Between Governance Practices, Audit Quality and Earnings Management: UK Evidence. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines two empirical studies. Firstly, it examines the relationship between corporate governance characteristics (relating to the size, composition of independent members, financial expertise and meeting frequency of boards of directors and audit committee) and audit quality. Secondly, the study investigates the effectiveness of corporate governance characteristics and higher quality auditors in constraining earnings management. There are three proxies of audit quality employed: audit fees, non-audit fees and industry specialist auditors. Based on data obtained from the FTSE 350 between 2005 and 2008, the first empirical findings suggest that independent non-executive directors on board demand an additional and extensive audit effort from the auditor in order to certify their monitoring function, resulting in an increase in the audit fees and the perceived audit quality. The results also indicate a positive relationship between independent board and non-audit fees, suggesting that independent board support the view that the joint provision of audit and non-audit services does not necessarily compromise auditor independence, but rather that it broadens the auditors’ knowledge and improves audit judgement. The findings from the second empirical study suggest that higher quality auditors (which either charge higher audit fees or are industry specialist auditors) are likely to reduce earnings manipulation. However, no evidence suggests that NAS fees affect earnings management. In addition, the current study finds inconsistent results linking the corporate governance characteristics and opportunistic earnings. Overall, both findings are consistent with agency theory, which states that independent board and higher quality auditors are associated with effective monitoring, which in turn helps to improve the quality of financial reporting. The findings are of potential interest to policy makers, professionals and boards of directors, especially on issues relating to audit quality and the mandating of corporate governance practices.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Corporate governance, audit quality, earnings management, audit fees, non-audit fees, industry specialist auditor
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Aug 2011 10:44

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