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AUDIT INDEPENDENCE: ENHANCING ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN CORPORATE ORIGINATION

ACCOUNTING PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

ABSTRACT

The subject of transparency and accountability in modern day corporate organizations has continued to receive attention as never before. It has become a subject of discuss and empirical research both in developed and developing countries of the world simply because of some recent financial crises and corporate scandals. Greater transparency and accountability are argued to improve the performance of corporate organizations through better resource allocation, enhanced efficiency and increased growth prospects (Chipwa, 2005).Enhancing transparency and accountability are central to the improvement of corporate governance mechanisms. Basically, transparency is a vital means of enhancing the performance and accountability of firms (Katra, 2003). Transparency is seen as critical for the culture of accountability especially where market competition thrives (Katera, 2003).

This implies that those with stake in the corporate organization must have all relevant and material information regarding its affairs in order to make proper judgment and if very necessary take remedies. This becomes possible only if those charged with the day to day management of the corporate organization are transparent and accountable enough. This is premised on the fact that the task of managing the corporate organizations affairs is fast moving in the ever-changing market or business environment. The essence of transparency and accountability especially in Nigeria as a developing country cannot be over emphasized. In this regard, Katera (2003), submits that the key to business survival, creating and maintaining wealth for the corporate organizations lies primarily on systems of transparency and accountability built into governance structures of such corporations. There is therefore the need or quest to enhance transparency and accountability so as to ensure shareholders wealth maximization and overall performance of the corporate organization. Against this backdrop, this study focuses on enhancing accountability and transparency in corporate organizations in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Transparency and accountability are increasingly more topical, broadly relevant, but also more under-researched in enterprises (Chipwa, 2005). Inspite of existing company regulation encompassing legislative framework and guidelines which govern corporate activities, the lack of or inadequate transparency and accountability encapsulated into sound corporate governance practices has partly led to organizational failures (Katera, 2003). To the best of our knowledge, literatures extensively dealing on transparency and accountability in corporate organizations in Nigeria are scanty. Similarly, the factors enhancing transparency and accountability in corporate organizations in Nigeria have also received little empirical research to the best of our knowledge. In the light of this existing gap, the following research questions are raised. 1. Do audit committee enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations?. 2. Does board independence enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations? 3. How does ownership concentration enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are broadly classified into two general objective and specific objectives. The general objective is basically on enhancing transparency and accountability in corporate organizations. However, the specific objectives of the study include: 1. To find out if audit committee enhances transparency and accountability in corporate organizations. 2. To determine if board independence enhances transparency and accountability in corporate organizations. 3. To ascertain if ownership concentration enhances transparency and accountability in corporate organizations.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

In this study, the null hypothesis are used and stated as follows: 1. H0: audit committee does not enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations. 2. H0: Board independence does not enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations. 3. H0: Ownership concentration does not enhance transparency and accountability in corporate organizations.

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