Audit Committees - How Useful and Necessary are they?
María Antonia García Benau
María Consuelo Pucheta Martínez
Ana Zorio Grima
Throughout the 1990s, we have witnessed a wave of publications on the Codes of Corporate Governance in different countries. The main objective of these codes is to improve the Corporate Governance of firms by providing recommendations for companies. One of the frequent recommendations is to create an audit committee within the company, with a view to guaranteeing the independence of the auditors, as well as the integrity and reliability of accounting information. Among other reasons, the lack of the auditors' independence, managers' negligent behaviour, the publication of fraudulent financial information, the loss of the shareholders' confidence in this information, as well as the lack of adequate internal control systems, has given rise to the establishment of audit committees in the countries of the Anglo-Saxon environment. The objective of this article is to emphasise the role that audit committees play in companies and how this results in better quality information and fraud avoidance. Althoug,n theory, audit committees are conceived as effective, some empirical studies seem to suggest that this effectiveness is not really found in practice. In this way, the study of previous literature allows us to analyse to what extent the effectiveness of audit committees can be questioned.
Codes of Corporate Governance, fraudulent information, audit committees.
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