Audit Committee Expertise and Financial Analysts’ and Investors’ Ability to Anticipate Future Earnings

59 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2011

See all articles by John L. Abernathy

John L. Abernathy

Kennesaw State University

Tony Kang

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Gopal V. Krishnan

Bentley University

Date Written: October 11, 2011


One of the important attributes of high quality accounting information is its ability to aid financial statement users in forming expectations about the firm’s future earnings. Prior research finds that accounting financial expertise of the audit committee is associated with higher financial reporting quality. We extend the literature by examining the association between audit committee expertise and security analysts’ and investors’ ability to anticipate future earnings. We find that analyst earnings forecasts of firms with an audit committee member with accounting financial expertise are more accurate and less dispersed. These associations tend to be stronger in weaker governance firms. We also find that audit committee expertise is associated with a more informative stock price for firms weaker governance. We do not find a significant association between non-accounting financial expertise and attributes of analysts’ forecasts or earnings informativeness. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of accounting expertise in audit committees.

Keywords: Audit committees, Financial expertise, Analyst Forecasts, Corporate governance, Financial reporting quality

Suggested Citation

Abernathy, John L. and Kang, Tony and Krishnan, Gopal, Audit Committee Expertise and Financial Analysts’ and Investors’ Ability to Anticipate Future Earnings (October 11, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

John L. Abernathy (Contact Author)

Kennesaw State University ( email )

1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144
United States

Tony Kang

University of Nebraska - Lincoln ( email )

307 College of Business Administration
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488
United States

Gopal Krishnan

Bentley University ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
United States
781-891-2477 (Phone)

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