Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Terry L. Neal

Committee Members

Daniel P. Murphy, Lauren M. Cunningham, Donald J. Bruce


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) added a multitude of financial oversight responsibilities to the audit committee of public companies. These responsibilities increased the amount of time each audit committee member needed to devote to each committee served, leading to concerns amongst regulators and the investing community that audit committees that were overboarded and serving on multiple other board seats would be unable to effectively monitor the companies they represented. I find that these concerns are undue. More overboarded audit committees have adequately adjusted to their increased workloads in the decade since SOX to such a degree that they have lower misstatement frequencies than less overboarded committees. By contracting in additional auditor effort or retaining higher quality auditors overboarded audit committees have found responses that aid in their monitoring. These responses lead to positive financial reporting outcomes when audit committees accept the limitations imposed by being overboarded. Overall, I find that more overboarded audit committees are able to remain effective monitors of the financial reporting process.

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