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

  •  Mary 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.

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