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The Effect of Reporting Frequency on the Timeliness of Earnings: The Cases of Voluntary and Mandatory Interim Reports


Marty Butler


AlixPartners LLP

Arthur G. Kraft


City University London - Cass Business School

Ira S. Weiss


University of Chicago - Graduate School of Business; Columbia Business School - Department of Accounting

August 2006

LBS Working Paper No. 037

Abstract:     
We examine whether financial reporting frequency affects the speed with which accounting information is reflected in security prices. For a sample of 28,824 reporting-frequency observations from 1950 to 1973, we find little evidence of differences in timeliness between firms reporting quarterly and those reporting semiannually, even after controlling for self-selection. However, firms that voluntarily increased reporting frequency from semiannual to quarterly experienced increased timeliness, while firms whose increase was mandated by the SEC did not. We conclude that there is little evidence to support the claim that regulation forcing firms to report more frequently improves earnings timeliness.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: Earnings timeliness, voluntary disclosure, regulation, information asymmetry, agency costs

JEL Classification: D82, G38, M41, L51

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Date posted: July 18, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Butler, Marty and Kraft, Arthur G. and Weiss, Ira S., The Effect of Reporting Frequency on the Timeliness of Earnings: The Cases of Voluntary and Mandatory Interim Reports (August 2006). LBS Working Paper No. 037. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=788084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.788084

Contact Information

Marty B. Butler (Contact Author)
AlixPartners LLP ( email )
2101 Cedar Springs Rd, Ste 1100
Dallas, TX 75201
United States
214-810-6622 (Phone)
Arthur Gerald Kraft
City University London - Cass Business School ( email )
London, EC2Y 8HB
Great Britain
Ira Samuel Weiss
University of Chicago - Graduate School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Columbia Business School - Department of Accounting ( email )
3022 Broadway
622 Uris Hall
New York, NY 10027
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.gsb.columbia.edu/divisions/accounting/iweiss
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