Audit committee financial expertise, corporate governance, and the voluntary switch from auditor-provided to non-auditor-provided tax services

Susan Albring, Dahlia Robinson, Michael Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

A prime objective of the SOX is to safeguard auditor independence. We investigate the relation between audit committee quality, corporate governance, and audit committees' decision to switch from permissible auditor-provided tax services. We find that firms with more independent boards, audit committees with greater accounting financial expertise, higher stock ownership by directors and institutions, that separate the CEO and Chairman of the board positions, and with higher tax to audit fee ratios are more likely to switch to a non-auditor provider. Further, we document that firms are more likely to switch prior to issuing equity. We find no evidence that broad financial expertise on audit committees is related to the switch decision, suggesting that the SEC's initial narrow definition of expertise is more consistent with the objective of the SOX. Overall, our results suggest that accounting financial expertise and strong corporate governance contribute to enhanced audit committee monitoring of auditor independence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Accounting
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Audit committee expert
  • Auditor independence
  • Auditor-provided tax service

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance

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