Governing anti-corruption and perceived auditor independence

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Abstract

Purpose: The growing international legal agenda and the fast development of corporate governance rules are now prompting firms to put emphasis on anti-corruption procedures. On the other hand, wide-ranging concerns have been raised by regulators and policymakers regarding the effectiveness of audit committees in promoting ethical behavior and safeguarding auditor independence from the adverse consequences of purchasing non-audit services. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the adoption of anti-corruption measures and perceived auditor independence in the context of audit committees. Design/methodology/approach: After conducting the Breusch–Pagan Lagrange Multiplier test and the Hausman test, the random-effect model is used as the most appropriate estimator. Several endogeneity tests are also used to account for the endogenous nature of the corporate governance variables in the models. Findings: Using a sample of UK FTSE 350 firms, this paper provides evidence that anti-corruption efforts are associated with lower purchases of non-audit services and lower economic bonding between auditors and their clients. Furthermore, the findings of this paper reveal that the adoption of anti-corruption efforts substitutes the role of audit committees in enhancing perceived auditor independence and that audit committees do not play a significant incremental role. Originality/value: To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to focus on bolstering perceived auditor independence while enhancing the control and ethical environment from the clients’ side instead of the auditors’ side.

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APA

Al-Okaily, J. (2023). Governing anti-corruption and perceived auditor independence. Managerial Auditing Journal, 38(5), 710–730. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-02-2022-3452

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