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Corporate Governance and Audit Fees: Evidence of Countervailing Relations

Paul A. Griffin, David H. Lont and Yuan Sun

Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, 2008, vol. 4, issue 1, 18-49

Abstract: This study documents that audit fees, and hence audit quality, and governance reflect two countervailing relations, namely, a fee increase because of exogenous changes in expected liability that require greater auditing and other mechanisms to attain better governance, and a fee reduction because auditors reduce the price of risk to reflect the benefits of better governance. The study period provides an interesting setting to test these relations because it covers the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which imposed a substantial cost on many companies to strengthen governance, including increased auditing and internal control spending. Yet, after controlling for such increased spending, our results also suggest that better governance reduces the cost of auditing.

Keywords: C30; G34; K22; M42; M48; auditing; audit fees; corporate governance; Sarbanes-Oxley (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics is currently edited by Agnes C.S. Cheng, P. Clarkson, F.A. Gul, Zoltan Matolcsy, Dan Simunic and Ben Srinidhi

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