The Impact of Audit Committee Characteristics on Firm Performance: Evidence from Pakistan

Qaiser Rafique Yasser, University Malaysia Sarawak
Abdullah Al Mamun, University of Newcastle

Abstract: The importance of an audit committee is increasingly being acknowledged in the literature, yet very little work has been done on board committees in emerging economies. We extend the work that has alluded to the importance of the characteristics of directors (executive, non-executive, and independent) with several unexplored, yet crucial, attributes represented in audit committees and additionally theorize and test how these audit committee characteristics play a role in an emerging economy context. Drawing attention on agency and stewardship theory, we tested our assertions with data on the population of firms on the Karachi Stock Exchange in 2013. Our findings indicate that companies with more than three audit committee members and non-executive audit committee chairman are associated with higher economic value-added (EVA). Furthermore, we also document positive relations between ex-chief participation in committee, audit committee chairman age, chairman qualification, and chairman’s financial expertise on several other financial performance indicators.