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Determinants of audit report lag: some evidence from the Athens stock exchange

Caramanis, C. and Leventis, S. and Weetman, P. (2005) Determinants of audit report lag: some evidence from the Athens stock exchange. International Journal of Auditing, 9 (1). pp. 45-58. ISSN 1090-6738

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Abstract

The timely publication of corporate financial information depends on the time taken to complete the audit. The audit report lag is a particularly critical factor in emerging and newly developed capital markets where the audited financial statements in the annual report are the only reliable source of information available to investors. This paper examines the audit report lag of companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange at the time of its transition from an emerging market to a newly developed capital market. A statistically significant association is found between audit report lag and type of auditor, audit fees, number of remarks in the audit report, the presence of extraordinary items, and an expression of uncertainty in the audit report. The results suggest that audit report lag is reduced by appointing an international audit firm or paying a premium audit fee, but is extended by aspects of potentially bad news.