The Association between Characteristics of Audit Committee Accounting Experts, Audit Committee Chairs, and Financial Reporting Timeliness

Abernathy, J. L., B. Beyer, A. Masli, C. Stefaniak. The Association between Characteristics of Audit Committee Accounting Experts, Audit Committee Chairs, and Financial Reporting Timeliness. Advances in Accounting 30 (2): 283-297, 2014

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

See all articles by John L. Abernathy

John L. Abernathy

Kennesaw State University

Brooke Beyer

Kansas State University

Adi Masli

University of Arkansas - Sam M. Walton College of Business

Chad M. Stefaniak

University of South Carolina

Date Written: November 24, 2014

Abstract

We investigate the association between audit committee (AC) members’ financial expertise and financial reporting timeliness, and extend the discussion by investigating how the source of accounting expertise (e.g., public accounting or CFO) differentially influences financial reporting timeliness. We predict and find that AC accounting financial expertise is associated with timelier accounting information. Further, we find that accounting expertise gained from public accounting experience is associated with timelier financial reporting; however, accounting expertise gained from CFO experience is not. We also find AC chairs (ACCs) with accounting expertise from public accounting experience are significantly associated with timelier financial reporting while ACCs with CFO-sourced accounting expertise are not. Our results are important for two reasons. First, our results suggest that AC accounting financial expertise contributes to AC effectiveness by improving the timeliness of financial information. Second, our findings highlight how personal characteristics of accounting financial experts influence contributions toward AC effectiveness.

Keywords: Audit Committee, Audit committee chair, accounting expertise, audit report lag, earnings announcement lag

Suggested Citation

Abernathy, John L. and Beyer, Brooke and Masli, Adi and Stefaniak, Chad M., The Association between Characteristics of Audit Committee Accounting Experts, Audit Committee Chairs, and Financial Reporting Timeliness (November 24, 2014). Abernathy, J. L., B. Beyer, A. Masli, C. Stefaniak. The Association between Characteristics of Audit Committee Accounting Experts, Audit Committee Chairs, and Financial Reporting Timeliness. Advances in Accounting 30 (2): 283-297, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2530080

John L. Abernathy (Contact Author)

Kennesaw State University ( email )

1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144
United States

Brooke Beyer

Kansas State University ( email )

Manhattan, KS 66506
United States
7855325916 (Phone)

Adi Masli

University of Arkansas - Sam M. Walton College of Business ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Chad M. Stefaniak

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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