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Factors Influencing Auditor Independence among Listed Companies in Nigeria: Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) Approach


  • Mary Kehinde Salawu


The study examines the factors influencing auditor independence among listed companies in Nigeria. A sample of 65 firms out of the 194 listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were purposively selected for analysis, these comprise 14 money deposit banks (financial), 1 mortgage bank and 50 non-financial firms. Secondary data were employed for the study and were sourced from the audited financial reports of sampled companies and fact book of the Nigerian Stock Exchange between the periods of 2006 and 2013. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Generalised Method of Moments (GMM). Preliminary tests were carried out such as Sargan test, Arellano-Bond Serial Correlation Test among others. The study revealed that Big4, audit tenure, profitability, leverage and inventory with account receivable had negative significant impact, which can impair auditor independence, while size of the firms and loss had positive influence on auditor independence in Nigeria. Also, the square root of the number of subsidiaries was positively related to auditor independence, but not significant and the total number of subsidiaries had positive influence on auditor independence but not significant. These results implied that the two variables can increase the complexity of the audit and, consequently, a rise in audit fees expect in their presence. This will in turn reduce auditor independence. The study therefore recommended that joint audit be adopted and audited tenure be reviewed. The findings of the study would enable management, regulators, investors and other stock market participants to play their unique and important roles in enhancing auditor independence in Nigeria.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Kehinde Salawu, 2017. "Factors Influencing Auditor Independence among Listed Companies in Nigeria: Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) Approach," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(8), pages 191-203, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibn:ijefaa:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:191-203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Augustine O. Okolie, 2014. "Audit Quality and Earnings Response Coefficients of Quoted Companies in Nigeria," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 4(2), pages 1-10.
    2. repec:bla:joares:v:24:y:1986:i:1:p:97-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Michael J. Peel & Mark A. Clatworthy, 2001. "The Relationship Between Governance Structure and Audit Fees Pre-Cadbury: some empirical findings," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 286-297, October.
    4. Collier, Paul & Gregory, Alan, 1999. "Audit committee activity and agency costs," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 311-332.
    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. David Hay & Robert Knechel & Vivian Li, 2006. "Non‐audit Services and Auditor Independence: New Zealand Evidence," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(5‐6), pages 715-734, June.
    7. Craswell, Allen & Stokes, Donald J. & Laughton, Janet, 2002. "Auditor independence and fee dependence," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 253-275, June.
    8. Nikos Vafeas & James Waegelein, 2007. "The association between audit committees, compensation incentives, and corporate audit fees," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 241-255, April.
    9. Santanu Mitra & Mahmud Hossain & Donald Deis, 2007. "The empirical relationship between ownership characteristics and audit fees," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 257-285, April.
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    More about this item


    audit fee; auditor independence; Nigeria; audit tenure;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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