Les auditeurs financiers face aux conflits d'agence : une étude des déterminants des honoraires d'audit en France / Financial auditors facing agency conflicts : an audit fees determinants study in France

C. Ben Ali, C. LESAGE

Comptabilité Contrôle Audit

April 2013, vol. 19, n°1, pp.59-89

Departments: Accounting & Management Control

Keywords: Audit fees, Actionnaire de contrôle, Conflit d'agence, Expropriation des minoritaires, Honoraires d'audit, Audit fees, Controlling Shareholders, Minority expropriation, Agency conflict

Considering the audit of financial statements as a mechanism that reduces information asymmetry, one can hypothesize that agency conflicts influence audit fees. Studying the audit fees paid by the SBF 250 listed firms, our results show : 1) the absence of a significant relationship between managerial ownership and audit fees; 2) a curvilinear relation (inversed U shape) between controlling shareholders ownership and audit fees; 3) a negative relation between family control and audit fees. These results outline the dominance of agency conflicts between controlling shareholders and minority shareholders in France, unlike in Anglo-Saxon countries where the dominant conflict is between managers and shareholders. The study permits to draw practical implications for practitioners and regulators