Reporting Bias with an Audit Committee
Posted: 11 Jan 2009 Last revised: 23 Apr 2010
This study models a manager who privately reports earnings to an independent audit committee that, after its own due diligence, modifies the report for public release to investors. The audit committee alters the reporting and valuation dynamics by attempting to remove the manager’s reporting bias, but then presents the information it has collected with its own bias. The audit committee’s presence changes the impact of penalties and incentives on reporting, valuation, and due diligence activities. For example, increasing penalties can sometimes degrade the reporting process. Our simultaneous consideration of the manager, audit committee, and investors provides a new framework for reporting and valuation, and sheds light on empirical earnings quality research that has largely studied the management and audit effects separately.
Keywords: audit committee, bias, disclosure, reporting discretion, Sarbanes-Oxley
JEL Classification: G14, G34, K22, M41, M43, M49
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