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Audit firm industry specialization and the audit report lag

Ahsan Habib and Md. Borhan Uddin Bhuiyan

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 2011, vol. 20, issue 1, 32-44

Abstract: This paper contributes to the audit report lag (ARL) literature by documenting the association between audit firm industry specialization and the ARL. ARL is one of the few externally observable audit output variables that allows outsiders to gauge audit efficiency, because it relates to the timeliness of both audit and earnings information. Although a sizable volume of literature exists on the determinants of the ARL in different countries, the effect of audit firm industry specialization on the ARL has not been investigated. Industry-specialist auditors are able to develop industry-specific knowledge and expertise and to familiarize themselves quickly with the clients’ business operations and, therefore, are likely to complete the audit sooner than their non-specialist counterparts. Using regression analyses with two different definitions of industry specialization, and controlling for known determinants of ARL, we demonstrate that the ARL is shorter for firms audited by industry specialist auditors. Our findings also reveal that the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has increased the ARL for all auditors except for industry specialist auditors.

Keywords: Audit report lag; Auditor industry specialization; National-level industry specialist; International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jiaata:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:32-44

DOI: 10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2010.12.004

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