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HI6008 Business Research Project - Literature Review Assignment - Holmes Institute, Australia

Purpose: This unit aims to give you an opportunity to combine many facets of your acquired MBA skills into the production of a high-quality research project.

The Literature Review - is designed to ensure that each team member masters the science of searching, locating, skimming, summarising, and using relevant academic literature and secondary data to create a compelling discussion and/or argument, thereby creating the context for their further research in pursuit of the answer to their research question.


Answer - Literature Review


Auditing is the most important part for every business because it ensures that there is no financial fraudulence and mistakes in the financial activities of the company. However, in the current scenario, the auditing profession is gender biased to some extent. In this literature review, the primary aim will be to evaluate how far gender biasness affect audit quality in the firms.

Previous studies

In the study "Audit quality: does gender composition of audit firms matter?", the authors Tania Menezes Montenegro and Filomena Antunes Bras mentioned that there is no such relationship between gender diversity and the quality of audit in a firm. At the same time, the authors have also mentioned that there are firms where female auditors have performed better auditing than male auditors. It means there is no such difference between the male and female auditors in terms of quality of audit (Menezes Montenegro and Bras, 2015).

However, in another study "Effect of Audit Committee Diversity on Quality of Financial Reporting in Non-Commercial State Corporations in Kenya" by Anthony Kirubi Mwangi, Dr. J. Oluoch Oluoch, Dr. Willy Muturi and Dr. Memba Florence, it has been identified that there is a significant relationship between the quality of audit and gender diversity. The authors in this study have suggested that there should be diversity in the audit team or committee for maintaining high quality in auditing (Mwangi et al., 2017).

In another study, "Does Women Representation on Boards and Audit Committees Restrict Earnings Management? The Impact of Family Ownership in Malaysian Firms" by Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail and Shamsul Nahar Abdullah, it has been noticed that presence of women in the audit committee restricts the level of earnings management of the business (Ku Ismail and Abdullah, 2013).

Therefore, considering the findings in different studies, it can be stated that there are contradictions among the views of the authors regarding the impact of gender diversity on accounting and audit quality. Therefore, in this context conducting a detailed investigation is very important, which has been done in this particular paper.


Conceptual framework

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Theory of auditing

Auditing is done based on different theories. There are several theories of auditing and some of those theories are discussed below:

Policeman theory of auditing - This particular theory states that the duty of an auditor is to search, discover and prevent any kind of financial fraudulence in the financial activities of the business. It means the theory suggests that the auditors are there to safeguard the businesses from any kind of negativity in terms of financial activities. At the same time, the theory also states that the auditors must focus on reviewing whether the financial representation and disclosure of the business are true and fair or not (Ammer and Ahmad-Zaluki, 2017). It means the theory focuses on the knowledge and skills of the auditors not on the gender on the auditors. In the other words, it can be stated that the theory provides guidance in terms of duty of the auditors, which has no relation on the gender of the auditors.

The credibility theory - This particular theory states that the duty of the auditors is to enhance the credibility of the financial representation of the business. At the same time, the theory also mentions that the duty of the auditor is to enhance the confidence level of the users of financial statements, so that they can make better decision regarding the business (Werrie, 2018). This means the particular theory also stresses upon the duty of the auditors not on their gender. It means being an auditor the individual must be capable of enhancing the credibility of the financial reports and growing better level of confidence among the financial statements users, no matter the auditor is male or female.

Therefore, considering both the theories, it can be better understood that none of the theory has any concern about the gender of the auditors. The theories are more focused on the quality and duty of the auditors rather gender.

Gender of Audit Committee members affects the timeliness of financial reporting - Evaluate

Information on time along with complete disclosure as well as financial reporting helps in the creation of capital market efficiency and at the same time, it also minimizes the scope of information asymmetry especially among the stakeholders and simultaneously it helps in the decision-making process. It is easy to state the fact that timeliness can prove to be an extremely useful piece of information especially when it is concerned with the investors or the regulators and at the same time the stakeholders (Zaitul and Desi, 2018). On the other hand, yet there are several debates over the timeliness of accounting this is a big issue in between the regulators, the academics, all the audit firms, as well as the investors spread all over in various developed countries of the world. An investigation conducted based on the financial reporting timeliness is broadly divided into two categories, the antecedents and the consequences both based on the financial reporting timeliness.


Many research has been conducted over the years it is based on the antecedents of financial reporting timeliness, all such research has been done by world famous scholars. They have made the best use of different perspectives, like the monitoring cost, the client service along with it the preparation made to serve the clients, as well as competing with the size (Zaitul and Desi, 2018).

The Audit Committee was seen for the very first time in Indonesia in the year 2000. The Audit Committee is usually known to be the internal mechanisms concerned with corporate governance. While looking at the functions, one vital function is monitoring the entire system and process of financial reporting. The Audit Committee is considered as the central part looking after the decision control system in order to evaluate the people involved along with the board of directors (Yuliarini and Ismail, 2015). A factor is playing a major role in the entire procedure and method of financial reporting along with it the detection of financial reporting fraud. Studies usually say that the Audit Committee's main and vital role in the process of financial reporting timeliness earlier was undertaken by several researchers.

The Audit Committee is making use of 11 companies based in Indonesia with the help of four dimensions: composition, the authority, resources as well as the diligence of the members present in the Audit Committee. Going through prior studies concerned with the gender of Audit Committee individuals or members as well as their working effectiveness is barely sufficient. It is noted down that Audit committee experience and expertise is usually based on the timely disclosure (Huang et al., 2011). It is found after intensive study that financial reporting timeliness can easily be enhanced in case the Audit Committee is well built effectively and monitored properly by the board of directors. Governance, as well as decision-making by the company, can slowly improve. Especially when the women are assigned as the members of the Audit Committee. Countries like USA, UK, Spain as well as Malaysia, with time revised their corporate governance code and this is done by ensuring that women are appointed as the board members in the companies.

Investigates whether women, who serve on the audit committee of the board, can have a significant impact in reducing audit fees

The audit fees are usually interpreted and determined depending on two factors one is the client demand and the other is the supply the particular service from the end of the external auditors. As per the thought concerned with the audit committees it usually requires high-quality audits, and at the same time, it requires a lot of time and hours invested on audit function and along with it greater assurances which must come from the external auditors. On the contrary, supply-side arguments put forward the fact that the more valuable the audit team or committee, the enhanced the company's in-house controls and the more trustworthy the firm's accounting systems (Xiang and Chengdu, 2015). The narrative based on audit committees usually in the majority of cases focuses on the various characteristics like the independence, the expertise as well s the activity and along with it the association between audit committee eminence, auditor liberty as well as the internal control (Makhlouf et al., 2018).


Looking at some of the recent studies it is found that gender the variety of audit committees usually plays an essential role in especially in corporate authority. All such studies are entirely based on the U.S. data and in general it does not inspect situations exclusive to the emerging and transitional nations, so it might happen that all such studies and findings may not be useful or applicable when it is concerned with the Chinese firms. The most important focus of all the Chinese scholarly studies pertaining to the audit committee is concerned with the influencing factors of formation (Ittonen et al., 2010). It is seen that the large boards usually pay much more for auditing purpose in comparison to the State ownership as well as the top executive they are all allied with comparatively lower audit fees.

The main motive of the research is to find out whether gender miscellaneous audit committees have a noteworthy consequence on the audit amount of various company. The main function and task of the board are to emplace mechanisms which will curtail variance between the management and the shareholders. The board evidently the monitor's administration, the managers may still follow their own are of interests which might at the same time affect its composition (Xiang and Chengdu, 2015). It is argued that when the administration takes charge of the board, it is, in fact, looking after and controlling itself which in many instances might end up weakening the board. In cases when the chief executive officer of the company simultaneously serves as also like the board chair, it is quite difficult for the for boards to operate and function. With amplified management rule, the supremacy balance among both the sides decreases and weakens.

On the other hand, increased control by management also harmfully affects the independence which is a negative scenario for the audit committee. In China, it is said that the CEO is generally allotted by the shareholder who is taking control and at the same time it also chairs the board as the result it weakens the board's managerial role. When the control is strong, conventional feminine features which include conservatism as well as obedience might in many cases reduce the influence of a woman on the committee at the same time it might also weaken her capability to confidently shape the corporate governance.

Gap in the literature

If the findings in the previous literature are considered, it can be noticed that there is no such strong view that establishes the impact of gender diversity on the quality of audit. Different authors have mentioned and proved in different ways. However, this study aims to derive a strong point that will help to understand the actual impact of gender diversity on the quality of audit.


This literature review has identified the fact that from the theoretical perspective there is no scope of including the factor gender in the context of auditing. It is the skill and knowledge of a person regarding the financial activities. However, in different existing studies, different views have been provided and due to that this study aims to fulfil the gap in the existing literature.


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