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Voluntary audit committee formation and agency costs


  • Michael Firth
  • Oliver M. Rui


This paper finds that only a small proportion of listed companies in Hong Kong voluntarily establish audit committees prior to the implementation of the revised Code of Best Practice, which effectively mandated them. We show that firms with dispersed ownership, a greater proportion of outside directors, and that have a non-Big Five auditor, are associated with the voluntary adoption of audit committees. The latter result differs from other studies and it suggests that audit committees are a substitute mechanism for the employment of high quality auditors (using the Big Five as a proxy for high quality).

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Firth & Oliver M. Rui, 2007. "Voluntary audit committee formation and agency costs," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(2), pages 142-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijaape:v:4:y:2007:i:2:p:142-160

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