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The relation between auditing and accounting timeliness in Swedish private firms
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5043-6289
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7584-2275
2023 (English)In: Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, ISSN 1358-1988, E-ISSN 1740-0279, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 379-396Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between auditing/non-auditing and accounting timeliness among Swedish private firms.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses regression analysis to test the relationship between auditing and two measurements of timeliness; lead time and late filing. The sample consists of Swedish private firms.

Findings: The paper finds that audited firms, when compared with unaudited firms, are significantly less timely. Moreover, greater profitability was associated with more timeliness but only for audited firms. The results also show that firms being audited by a big 4-auditor are significantly timelier than firms being audited by a non-big 4 auditor.

Practical implications: The findings in this paper suggests that one aspect of accounting quality, timeliness, does not seem to benefit from auditing in a Swedish context. There is a debate about whether the threshold levels in Sweden should be raised so that more firms voluntarily can opt out of audit. Those opposing a raised threshold level claim that auditing has positive effects on accounting quality and consequently that a raised level would have adverse effects. The findings in this paper do not support such a claim.

Originality/value: Little is known about timeliness in private firms compared to public firms and this paper fills that void. Contrary to prior research, findings show that unaudited firms in a Swedish regulatory setting actually are timelier than their audited counterparts. This questions one of the (presumed) benefits of auditing and should stimulate more research on this issue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023. Vol. 31, no 3, p. 379-396
Keywords [en]
Accounting timeliness, auditing, big 4-auditor, accounting lead time, late filing of annual report
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Intelligent Industry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-40557DOI: 10.1108/JFRC-03-2022-0040ISI: 000919949500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85147202405OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-40557DiVA, id: diva2:1715965
Available from: 2022-12-04 Created: 2022-12-04 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Hartwig, FredrikSörqvist, Patrik

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CiteExportLink to record
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