The Impact of Financial Reporting Quality on Debt Maturity: The Case of Private Firms
Accounting and Business Research, Forthcoming
44 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 8, 2018
We examine whether the debt maturity structure of privately held firms is associated with the quality of their earnings numbers. We argue that earnings numbers that are better able to predict future cash flows lower information asymmetry between privately held firms and their creditors, improving privately held firms’ access to long-term debt. Furthermore, we examine whether the relationship between privately held firms’ earnings quality and their debt maturity differs between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger privately held firms. Using detailed financial statement information from a sample of privately held Belgian firms, we find that earnings quality is positively associated with the likelihood of having long-term debt and with the proportion of long-term debt in total debt. Further, we report evidence that these associations are more pronounced for SMEs than for larger privately held firms, which is consistent with smaller firms entailing more fundamental risk for creditors.
Keywords: Financial reporting quality, Debt maturity, Privately held firms, Debt
JEL Classification: G21, G32, M41
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