Forced Remediation: The Use of Corporate Monitors in Sanctions for Misconduct
55 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2022 Last revised: 2 May 2022
Date Written: May 2, 2022
Following securities law violations, regulators can require firms to hire a corporate monitor. These monitors are akin to consultants and are tasked with improving a firm’s financial reporting policies and internal controls. Monitors are embedded within a corporation at the behest of the government, though, which adds an adversarial component to their job. We examine the efficacy of these monitors in practice by first documenting the determinants of the monitorship requirement. We find that corporate monitors are prevalent following bribery and severe financial misconduct, but firms that initiate their own internal investigation are less likely assigned a monitor. Consistent with theory, we also find a positive association between monitors and firm monetary penalties. Finally, violating firms assigned a corporate monitor experience increased financial reporting credibility and reduced audit fees relative to other violating firms. Our study suggests that both investors and auditors perceive monitors to be beneficial to the firm.
Keywords: Regulatory enforcement, corporate monitors, internal investigation, cooperation
JEL Classification: K22, M14, M41, M42, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation