SUMMARY: This paper investigates whether audit fees vary with the wedge between cash flow rights and control rights arising from the presence of dual-class share structures. Dual-class shares exist in firms having two or more classes of shares with disproportionate voting rights. They affect audit fees through their effect on the supply for audit services. External auditors conduct wider (narrower) scope audits depending on whether dual-class shares increase (decrease) audit risk and/or auditor business risk. Wider (narrower) scope audits are more (less) costly for the auditors and for their clients. This paper documents a positive association between audit fees and the wedge between cash flow rights and control rights in a sample of Canadian firms during 2004. It extends current research by investigating whether dominant shareholdings affect audit pricing, and by examining audit pricing in Canada over a time period that witnessed significant changes in corporate governance.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.