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  • 1.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Hansson, Emil
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
    Nielsen, Linn
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
    The relation between auditing and accounting timeliness in Swedish private firms2023In: Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, ISSN 1358-1988, E-ISSN 1740-0279, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 379-396Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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