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  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Who’s Really in Charge? Audit Committee versus CFO Power a...
    research summary posted March 1, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.06 Audit Fees and Fee Negotiations, 14.0 Corporate Matters, 14.11 Audit Committee Effectiveness 
    Who’s Really in Charge? Audit Committee versus CFO Power and Audit Fees
    Practical Implications:

    The results demonstrate the importance of, and tension between, CFO and audit committee power in audit fee negotiations. Our findings suggest CFOs often continue to exert significant influence over audit fees even though contractual responsibility for compensating external auditors resides with the audit committee. These results highlight the importance for auditors to identify the more powerful party when negotiating audit fees with their clients.

    In addition, this study has significant implications for investors who believe current regulations separate management from audit fee negotiations. These regulations may give investors a false sense of security if they assume the audit committee always limits managerial influence during audit fee negotiations.

    For more information on this study, please contact Elaine Mauldin.


    Beck, M. J. and E. Mauldin, 2014. Who’s really in charge? Audit committee versus CFO power and audit fees. The Accounting Review 89 (6): 2057-2085.

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