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Audit committee characteristics and loss reserve error

Audit committee characteristics and loss reserve error Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate two audit committee characteristics – independence and expertise of the audit committee – and the property‐liability insurers' financial reporting quality, which is proxied by loss reserve error. Design/methodology/approach – The authors' hypotheses are tested using multivariate analysis where the loss reserve error is the dependent variable, and audit committee independence, and four types of audit committee financial expertise (accounting, finance, supervisory, and insurance expertise) are the testing variables. Findings – It is found that accounting, finance, and insurance financial expertise are associated with more accurate loss reserve estimate. In contrast, a supervisory financial expertise and an independence audit committee are not found to be associated with better loss reserve quality. Research limitations/implications – The sample includes publicly‐held property‐liability insurers. Although the results from publicly‐held insurers could provide a good laboratory for such investigation in all insurers, they might be limited due to different organization structures of public vs private insurers. Practical implications – The implications of the study are important for the SEC and NAIC. The results suggest that the requirements on the audit committee financial expertise would be necessary, even in highly regulated industry, such as property‐casualty insurance. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the extant literature by studying audit committee characteristics in the insurance industry. It also contributes to the extant literature on audit committee effectiveness by decomposing the financial expertise into four types of financial expertise (accounting, finance, supervisory, or insurance expertise) and investigates which (if any) of these four types of expertise really drives the improvement of loss reserve quality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managerial Auditing Journal Emerald Publishing

Audit committee characteristics and loss reserve error

Managerial Auditing Journal , Volume 27 (4): 23 – Apr 13, 2012

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References (54)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0268-6902
DOI
10.1108/02686901211217978
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate two audit committee characteristics – independence and expertise of the audit committee – and the property‐liability insurers' financial reporting quality, which is proxied by loss reserve error. Design/methodology/approach – The authors' hypotheses are tested using multivariate analysis where the loss reserve error is the dependent variable, and audit committee independence, and four types of audit committee financial expertise (accounting, finance, supervisory, and insurance expertise) are the testing variables. Findings – It is found that accounting, finance, and insurance financial expertise are associated with more accurate loss reserve estimate. In contrast, a supervisory financial expertise and an independence audit committee are not found to be associated with better loss reserve quality. Research limitations/implications – The sample includes publicly‐held property‐liability insurers. Although the results from publicly‐held insurers could provide a good laboratory for such investigation in all insurers, they might be limited due to different organization structures of public vs private insurers. Practical implications – The implications of the study are important for the SEC and NAIC. The results suggest that the requirements on the audit committee financial expertise would be necessary, even in highly regulated industry, such as property‐casualty insurance. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the extant literature by studying audit committee characteristics in the insurance industry. It also contributes to the extant literature on audit committee effectiveness by decomposing the financial expertise into four types of financial expertise (accounting, finance, supervisory, or insurance expertise) and investigates which (if any) of these four types of expertise really drives the improvement of loss reserve quality.

Journal

Managerial Auditing JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 13, 2012

Keywords: United States of America; Audit committees; Insurance companies; Financial reporting; Loss reserve error; Audit financial expertise; Audit accounting expertise; Audit insurance expertise; Property‐liability insurer

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