Audit Committees in Private and Public Sector Corporates in New Zealand: An Empirical Investigation
21 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010
Date Written: September 1, 2003
This study sought to ascertain the incidence of audit committees in private and public sector corporates in New Zealand; the reasons for their adoption; their membership, administration and functions; disclosures relating to audit committees in annual reports; the attributes likely to enhance audit committees' effectiveness; and their perceived advantages and disadvantages. To accomplish this a mail survey was conducted amongst external auditors, internal auditors, chairpersons of significant private and public sector entities, and financial statement users. The survey found that about 60% of significant private and public sector corporates had audit committees, that these committees are expected to play a broad governance role, and that key players in the corporate arena support them strongly. However, it also found that the effectiveness of audit committees could be increased by having their objectives and responsibilities clearly defined in a written statement, and by disclosing their existence, membership and objectives in corporate annual reports.
Keywords: audit committee survey, incidence of audit committees, reasons for establishing audit committees, audit committee membership, disclosures about audit committees, audit committee functions, audit committee effectiveness, audit committee attributes, attributes of audit committee members, advantages of audit committees
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By Murphy Smith