Audit Committee Connectedness and Audit Fees

36 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2021

See all articles by Sharif Islam

Sharif Islam

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

William R. McCumber

College of Business, Louisiana Tech University

William W. Stammerjohan

Louisiana Tech University - College of Business

Nusrat Farah

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Date Written: October 30, 2020

Abstract

The study examines the effect of audit committees connectedness, measured using network centrality from social network theory, on audit fees. We also test the effect of the same on audit quality and audit timeliness. We find that network centrality measures of audit committees are positively and significantly associated with audit fees. Moreover, we document that audit committees connectedness is associated with better financial reporting quality and audit timeliness, which might explain the increase in audit fees. We conduct several robustness tests and document the same results. Additional analysis indicates that the results are driven by the overall centrality of the audit committee and not by the centrality of committee chairs, committee financial experts, or members of the committee. Our results also hold true for both pre and post SOX period and after controlling for CEO and CFO network centrality measures. Overall, the findings suggest that connected audit committees are associated with higher audit fees because they demand better audit quality and timely dissemination of information.

Keywords: Audit Committees,Network Centrality, Audit Fees, Audit Timeliness.

JEL Classification: D85, M14, M42.

Suggested Citation

Islam, Md. Shariful and McCumber, William R. and Stammerjohan, William W. and Farah, Nusrat, Audit Committee Connectedness and Audit Fees (October 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3721761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3721761

Md. Shariful Islam (Contact Author)

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ( email )

Rehn Hall - Mail Code 4626
Carbondale, IL Illinois 62901-4515
United States

William R. McCumber

College of Business, Louisiana Tech University ( email )

COBB 209
P.O. Box 10318
Ruston, LA 71272
United States
318-257-2389 (Phone)
318-257-4253 (Fax)

William W. Stammerjohan

Louisiana Tech University - College of Business ( email )

Railload and College Ave.
Ruston, LA 71272
United States

Nusrat Farah

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ( email )

Rehn Hall - Mail Code 4626
Carbondale, IL Illinois 62901-4515
United States

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