Title: The impact of the characteristics of audit committee members on audit committee effectiveness

Authors: Madeleine La Grange; Barry Ackers; Elza Odendaal

Addresses: Department of Auditing, College of Accounting Science, University of South Africa, South Africa ' Department of Auditing, College of Accounting Science, University of South Africa, South Africa ' Department of Auditing, College of Accounting Science, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract: Despite being extensively researched since audit committees emerged early in the 20th century, the focus has tended to be on public sector organisations and large listed public companies. This paper uses an explorative qualitative case-study research design, to understand the impact of the characteristics of audit committee member on audit committee effectiveness in a purposively selected small to medium-sized company. The paper provides important insights into the impact of audit committee member qualifications, experience and independence, on how the audit committee discharges its responsibilities. Although the leadership of the audit committee chairperson appears to have enhanced governance practices, the atypical role of mentoring the newly appointed chief financial officer, questions whether the audit committee chairperson, and accordingly the audit committee, is truly independent, or whether it has succumbed to the familiarity threat. Despite its South African orientation, the worldwide importance of small to medium-sized enterprises gives the study globally relevance.

Keywords: audit committee; characteristics; leadership; qualifications; small to medium-sized company; value added.

DOI: 10.1504/GBER.2021.115812

Global Business and Economics Review, 2021 Vol.24 No.4, pp.409 - 434

Received: 14 Oct 2020
Accepted: 24 Jan 2021

Published online: 23 Jun 2021 *

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