Bratten, Causholli & Sulcaj Win "Best Paper"

On January 18, Accounting department faculty Brian Bratten, Monika Causholli, and graduate student Valbona Sulcaj earned a Best Paper Award at the 2019 American Audit Association Auditing Section Midyear Meeting in Nashville for their paper, “Overseeing the External Audit function: Evidence from Recent Audit Committee Activities”. Professor Causholli presented the paper at a plenary session at the conference. In summary, their study examines audit committee activities in overseeing the external audit, and how this oversight can impact financial reporting, audit quality, and investor perceptions of financial information. "Although one of the most crucial responsibilities of audit committees is overseeing the audit process, until very recently we knew very little about how audit committees fulfilled this role," said Causholli. She explained that in response to calls for more transparency, many firms have begun reporting their audit committees’ activities related to overseeing the external audit process. She and her colleagues used a novel dataset that summarized reported audit committee oversight activities. Their results showed that companies with audit committees who take a more active role in overseeing the external audit are associated with better financial reporting and audit quality. They also found evidence that investors react positively to oversight reports, indicating that investors value robust monitoring by audit committees.