Audit Committee Attributes and Timeliness of Corporate Financial Reporting in Nigeria
Accounting and Finance, 88(2), 115-124, 2020
11 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2020
In many studies the audit delay experienced in Nigeria firms attributes to external auditors. But this is not 100% true because before an external audit expresses an independent opinion on the financial statements, he needs to work with the internal auditor and audit committee of the organisation to successfully carry out the audit work. The audit committee particularly would help the external auditor enhance its timely reporting. The roles of an audit committee are to oversee the process of financial reporting, the work of the external auditor, and to strengthen the internal control of an organisation. Therefore, the audit committee effectiveness would help the external auditor reduce reporting lag and improve the timeliness of financial reports. Despite the establishment of a committee on audit in firms and the deadline set by the capital markets on annual financial reporting, reporting lag still exists. Against this backdrop, we investigated the impact of audit committee attributes on the timeliness of corporate financial reporting in Nigeria. A sample of one hundred and sixteen (116) listed firms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange from 2017 to 2018. We used descriptive and inferential statistics to summarize and draw inference on the population studied. The result from the Robust least squares regression revealed that audit committee independence and female directors in the audit committee reduces audit report lag, thus increases the timeliness of financial reporting. However,we found no evidence on the impact of audit committee diligence on the timeliness of financial reporting. We found out that there is a joint and positive effect of female directors on the nexus between audit committee independence and the timeliness of financial reporting. The study concluded that audit committee attributes affect the timeliness of corporate financial reporting in Nigeria.We recommend that firms should continue to sustain the culture of having non-executive directors in the audit committee to promote timely financial reporting.
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