Earnings conservatism and audit committee financial expertise
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This study examines the association between earnings conservatism and four different measures of audit committee financial expertise. Statistical tests are based on 494 firm-year observations drawn from Australian publicly listed firms between January 1 2004 and December 31 2008. Consistent with expectations, tests find a statistically significant association between earnings conservatism and a) overall financial expertise, b) accounting financial expertise and c) independent financial expertise. However, only a weak association is found between earnings conservatism and audit committee non-accounting financial expertise. Overall, results infer that audit committee financial expertise is a key determinant of the asymmetrical timeliness of loss recognition (both via stock returns and accruals). Findings provide valuable insights and greater understanding to various special interest groups (e.g., corporate governance reformists, regulators, scholars), of the individual dynamics between audit committee financial expertise and earnings conservatism contributing, therefore, to the literature on the importance of audit committee financial expertise in improving financial reporting quality.
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