Audit committee composition has attracted significant attention from legislators and regulators in recent years. Although most of the focus has been on corporate audit committees, recent legislative efforts underscore the importance of governance in the nonprofit sector. Using data from a survey of 118 chief financial officers of nonprofit organizations as well as financial data from the GuideStar database, we examine the composition of nonprofit audit committees and factors associated with their composition. The data show that many nonprofits have not adopted Sarbanes‐Oxley reforms, since we find that 36 percent of nonprofits have audit committees that are not completely independent. Organizations that are larger, receive government grants, and use a Big 4 auditor are more likely to have audit committees with solely independent directors. Surprisingly, universities and hospitals are less likely to have solely independent directors on the audit committee. Eighty‐eight percent of nonprofits have at least one financial expert on the audit committee, and organizations that receive government grants and have an internal audit function are more likely to have a financial expert on the committee. Overall, our findings support the view that nonprofit audit committee composition varies in response to the demands related to the need for resources, the presence of other monitoring mechanisms, and the type of nonprofit.
Research Article| March 01 2006
The Composition of Nonprofit Audit Committees
Thomas E. Vermeer, Associate Professor;
K. Raghunandan, Professor;
Accounting Horizons (2006) 20 (1): 75–90.
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Thomas E. Vermeer, K. Raghunandan, Dana A. Forgione; The Composition of Nonprofit Audit Committees. Accounting Horizons 1 March 2006; 20 (1): 75–90. doi: https://doi.org/10.2308/acch.2006.20.1.75
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