A qualitative investigation of corporate governance in Irish PLC's:the perceptions of auditors
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Corporate governance was dominated by corporate scandals across the world involving such companies as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Parmalat, Polly Peck, and Maxwell. Over the last two decades a number of reports have been commissioned into the subject of corporate governance and as a result a number of codes of best practice have emerged worldwide. Following these reports, the Financial Reporting Council issued the combined code on corporate governance, which is adopted by the Irish stock exchange. Furthermore, since 2001 in Ireland there have been significant regulation and legislation initiatives made to enhance corporate governance. The objective of this dissertation is to examine the auditors’ perceptions of corporate governance in Irish PLC’s. The literature review presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of corporate governance and outlines US and Irish legislation regarding corporate governance. It also outlines the importance of auditors and their key role regarding corporate governance. The primary research for this dissertation was undertaken through five semi-structured interviews with audit partners from the four largest audit practices in Ireland based on fee income. The research revealed auditors are in favour of the “comply or explain” approach to corporate governance and that Ireland should adopt a stakeholder approach to corporate governance. Additionally, the research revealed that auditors’ believe that the board of directors have a key role in relation to corporate governance and that the mechanisms introduced in the combined code are all good. The main problem is in relation to non compliance with the combined code and the auditors favoured introducing a monitoring body in relation to non compliance. Furthermore, the research uncovered that auditors felt there was too much legislation in Ireland and that auditing was become a “box ticking exercise”. The auditors’ also suggested that they would think twice about pursuing a career in auditing in the current environment. Finally, the research revealed that auditors’ consider it is essential to have someone with financial experience on the audit committee to challenge managers and auditors therefore enhancing corporate governance.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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