Audit committee characteristics and earnings management of listed insurance companies in Nigeria

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Abstract

There exists a divergence of opinions in the literature on the relationship between audit committee characteristics and earnings management. The mix of opinions makes the direction of their relationship ambiguous. This study investigated the relationship between Audit Committee characteristics and earnings management of listed insurance companies in Nigeria. The study covered a period of five years from 2014 to 2018. Data for the study were extracted from the Firms’ annual reports and accounts. Multiple regression was employed to run the data of the study using Random Model. The results from the analysis revealed a significant association between audit committee characteristics and earnings management of the Firms. While audit committee size and committees’ financial expertise showed inverse relationship with earnings management, committee’s independence and frequency of meetings are positively and significantly related to earnings management. In line with the findings, the study recommended among others that listed insurance companies in Nigeria should strictly comply with the provision of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and SEC Code of Corporate Governance on the issues regarding Audit Committees. And regulators such as SEC should increase the minimum number of Audit Committee members with financial expertise and also have a statutory position on the maximum number of Audit Committees meetings, under the provision of CAMA) and SEC Code of Corporate Governance that, the meeting of the companies should not be more than four meetings in a year.
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Audit committee characteristics and earnings management of listed insurance companies in Nigeria