The Choice of Fiscal Year-End in Australia

Australian Accounting Review, Forthcoming

2013 Financial Markets & Corporate Governance Conference

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 Last revised: 19 Mar 2014

See all articles by Meiting Lu

Meiting Lu

Macquarie University - Faculty of Business and Economics; Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School

Naibuka Saune

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Yaowen Shan

University of Technology Sydney; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: February 10, 2013

Abstract

This study examines the heterogeneity of fiscal year-end choice in Australia. We document substantial differences in the ‘‘popularity’’ of balance sheet dates over 1989-2010, and an increasing preference of June year-ends in recent years. 81% of Australian firms choose June to align with the mandatory tax period, followed by 13% for December and 6% for other months. We find industry membership and firm-level factors play an important role in the choice of fiscal year-ends. There is a strong non-June effect for manufacturing, retail and financial service companies. Non-June year-end firms tend to be larger in size and more profitable, and have less sales growth, lower firm-specific risk and higher buy-and-hold returns over the financial year. Finally, we summarize three popular reasons for Australian firms changing their fiscal year-ends.

Keywords: Fiscal year end, industry, disclosure

JEL Classification: J33, G34

Suggested Citation

Lu, Meiting and Saune, Naibuka and Shan, Yaowen, The Choice of Fiscal Year-End in Australia (February 10, 2013). Australian Accounting Review, Forthcoming, 2013 Financial Markets & Corporate Governance Conference, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2195166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2195166

Meiting Lu

Macquarie University - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School ( email )

New South Wales 2109
Australia

Naibuka Saune (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) ( email )

Accounting Discipline Group
School of Business
Sydney, New South Wales 2007
Australia
95143110 (Phone)

Yaowen Shan

University of Technology Sydney ( email )

PO Box 123
Broadway, NSW 2007
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://profiles.uts.edu.au/Yaowen.Shan

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

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