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Audit Qualification and the Timeliness of Corporate Annual Reports

G. P. Whittred
The Accounting Review
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Oct., 1980), pp. 563-577
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/245775
Page Count: 15
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Audit Qualification and the Timeliness of Corporate Annual Reports
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Abstract

This paper investigates the effect that qualified audit reports have on the timeliness of Australian annual reports. The experiment in this study compares the reporting behavior of companies which receive audit qualifications with a random sample of companies which receive no such qualification and with the reporting behavior of the same companies in the years preceding the qualification. The results indicate that the incidence of a qualified audit report delays the release of the preliminary profit report (required by the Australian Associated Stock Exchanges) and the final annual accounts (required by the Uniform Companies Act, 1961). It also appears that the more serious the qualification, the greater is the delay. Possible reasons for these results are considered, and it is argued that the most likely explanations are an increase in both the time taken to complete the year-end audit and that spent in auditor-client negotiations.

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