Quarterly Publication

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Accounting, Chalous Branch, Islamic Azad University, Chalous, Iran.

2 Department of Accounting, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran.


The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the effect of independence, size, expertise, and gender of the audit committee on audit report lag in firms listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE). Using unique data from Iran for a 5-year period between 2016 and 2020, the results showed that financial expertise and independence of the audit committee have a significant negative effect on audit report lag. This suggests that more experts and non-executive members on the audit committee minimize audit report lag and reduce the timeliness constraint that dominates the qualitative characteristics financial information. The results also showed the significant positive effect of audit committee gender on audit report lag, while there was no significant relationship between the size of the audit committee and audit report lag, indicating that the quality of the audit committee is more important than its quantity.


  1. Abbott, L. J., Park, Y., & Parker, S. (2000). The effects of audit committee activity and independence on corporate fraud. Managerial finance, 26(11), 55–67.
  2. Abernathy, J. L., Beyer, B., Masli, A., & Stefaniak, C. (2014). The association between characteristics of audit committee accounting experts, audit committee chairs, and financial reporting timeliness. Advances in accounting30(2), 283-297.
  3. Ahmad, R. A. R., & Kamarudin, K. A. (2003, June). Audit delay and the timeliness of corporate reporting: Malaysian evidence. Communication Hawaii international conference on business. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Khairul-Anuar-Kamarudin/publication/242086429
  4. Akhtaruddin, M., & Haron, H. (2010). Board ownership, audit committees' effectiveness and corporate voluntary disclosures. Asian review of accounting, 18(1), 68-82.
  5. Alzeban, A., & Sawan, N. (2015). The impact of audit committee characteristics on the implementation of internal audit recommendations. Journal of international accounting, auditing and taxation24, 61-71.
  6. Atiase, R. K., Bamber, L. S., & Tse, S. (1989). Timeliness of financial reporting, the firm size effect, and stock price reactions to annual earnings announcements. Contemporary accounting research5(2), 526-552.
  7. Ashton, R. H., Graul, P. R., & Newton, J. D. (1989). Audit delay and the timeliness of corporate reporting. Contemporary accounting research5(2), 657-673.
  8. Bamber, E. M., Bamber, L. S., & Schoderbek, M. P. (1993). Audit structure and other determinants of audit report lag: an empirical analysis. Auditing12(1), 1.
  9. Barako, D. G., Hancock, P., & Izan, H. Y. (2006). Factors influencing voluntary corporate disclosure by Kenyan companies. Corporate governance: an international review14(2), 107-125.
  10. Barzideh, F., & Madanchi, M. (2014). Effect of audit committee’s industry-specific expertise on audit report lag. Accounting theory and practice, 1, 1-19. (In Persian). https://www.noormags.ir
  11. Bazrafshan, A., Hejazi, R., Rahmani, A., & Bastani, S. (2015). Audit committee independence and financial re-porting quality: a meta-analysis. Iranian journal of accounting & management research, 8(25), 101-117. (In Persian). https://jma.srbiau.ac.ir/article_6732_1248.html
  12. Bazrafshan, A., Hejazi, R. & Rahmani, A. (2015). Internal controls over financial reporting requirements and audit committee: evidence from an event study. Journal of management accounting and auditing knowledge, 4(16), 45-56. (In Persian). https://jmaak.srbiau.ac.ir/article_7760.html
  13. Bayat, A. & Aliahmadi, S. (2014). Audit delay and timeliness of financial reporting. Financial accounting and auditing research, 6(22), 97-121. (In Persian). http://ensani.ir
  14. Beasley, M. S., & Salterio, S. E. (2001). The relationship between board characteristics and voluntary improvements in audit committee composition and experience. Contemporary accounting research18(4), 539-570.
  15. Bédard, J., Chtourou, S. M., & Courteau, L. (2004). The effect of audit committee expertise, independence, and activity on aggressive earnings management. Auditing: a journal of practice & theory23(2), 13-35.
  16. Bédard, J., & Gendron, Y. (2010). Strengthening the financial reporting system: can audit committees deliver? International journal of auditing14(2), 174-210.
  17. Blankley, A. I., Hurtt, D. N., & MacGregor, J. E. (2014). The relationship between audit report lags and future restatements. Auditing: a journal of practice & theory33(2), 27-57.
  18. Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees. (1999). Report and recommendations of the blue ribbon committee on improving the effectiveness of corporate audit committees. The business lawyer, 54(3), 1067-1095.
  19. Bonsón‐Ponte, E., Escobar‐Rodríguez, T., & Borrero‐Domínguez, C. (2008). Empirical analysis of delays in the signing of audit reports in Spain. International journal of auditing12(2), 129-140.
  20. Bushman, R. M., & Smith, A. J. (2001). Financial accounting information and corporate governance. Journal of accounting and economics32(1-3), 237-333.
  21. GEE & CO. (1992). Report of the committee on the financial aspects of corporate governance. Retrieved from https://www.frc.org.uk/getattachment/9c19ea6f-bcc7-434c-b481-f2e29c1c271a/The-Financial-Aspects-of-Corporate-Governance-(the-Cadbury-Code).pdf
  22. Choi, J. H., Jeon, K. A., & Park, J. I. (2004). The role of audit committees in decreasing earnings management: Korean evidence. International journal of accounting, auditing and performance evaluation1(1), 37-60.
  23. Clatworthy, M. A., & Peel, M. J. (2010, December). Does corporate governance influence the timeliness of financial reporting? Evidence from UK private companies. Accounting and management control department. Seminal conducted at the meeting of the ESSEC Business School.
  24. Collier, P., & Gregory, A. (1996). Audit committee effectiveness and the audit fee. European accounting review5(2), 177-198.
  25. Collier, P., & Gregory, A. (1999). Audit committee activity and agency costs. Journal of accounting and public policy18(4-5), 311-332.
  26. DeFond, M. L., Hann, R. N., & Hu, X. (2005). Does the market value financial expertise on audit committees of boards of directors? Journal of accounting research43(2), 153-193.
  27. DeZoort, F. T., & Salterio, S. E. (2001). The effects of corporate governance experience and financial‐reporting and audit knowledge on audit committee members' judgments. Auditing: a journal of practice & theory20(2), 31-47.
  28. DeZoort, F. T., Hermanson, D. R., & Houston, R. W. (2003). Audit committee support for auditors: The effects of materiality justification and accounting precision. Journal of accounting and public policy22(2), 175-199.
  29. Doyle, J. T., & Magilke, M. J. (2013). Decision usefulness and accelerated filing deadlines. Journal of accounting research51(3), 549-581.
  30. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). (1980). Statement of financial accounting concepts. Retrieved from https://asc.fasb.org/pronouncement&id=1175820899597.pdf
  31. Givoly, D., & Palmon, D. (1982). Timeliness of annual earnings announcements: some empirical evi-dence. Accounting review, 57(3), 485-508.
  32. Gold, A., Hunton, J. E., & Gomaa, M. I. (2009). The impact of client and auditor gender on auditors’ judgments (retracted). Accounting horizons23(1), 1-18.
  33. Gul, F. A., Srinidhi, B., & Ng, A. C. (2011). Does board gender diversity improve the informativeness of stock prices?. Journal of accounting and economics51(3), 314-338.
  34. Habbash, M. (2010). The effectiveness of corporate governance and external audit on constraining earnings management practice in the UK(Doctoral dissertation, Durham University). Retrieved from http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/448/1/FINAL_WHOLE_PHD_pdf.pdf
  35. Hillman, A. J., & Dalziel, T. (2003). Boards of directors and firm performance: integrating agency and resource dependence perspectives. Academy of management review28(3), 383-396.
  36. Jaggi, B., & Tsui, J. (1999). Determinants of audit report lag: further evidence from Hong Kong. Accounting and business research30(1), 17-28.
  37. Kikhia, H. Y. (2014). Board characteristics, audit committee characteristics, and audit fees: evidence from Jordan. International business research7(12), 98-110. (In Persian). https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hassan-Kikhia/publication/287603870_Board_Characteristics_
  38. Kirk, D. J. (2000). Experiences with the Public Oversight Board and corporate audit committees. Accounting horizons14(1), 103-111.
  39. Klein, A. (2002). Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management. Journal of accounting and economics33(3), 375-400.
  40. Knechel, W. R., & Sharma, D. S. (2012). Auditor-provided nonaudit services and audit effectiveness and efficiency: Evidence from pre-and post-SOX audit report lags. Auditing: a journal of practice & theory31(4), 85-114.
  41. Leventis, S., Weetman, P., & Caramanis, C. (2005). Determinants of audit report lag: some evidence from the Athens Stock Exchange. International journal of auditing9(1), 45-58.
  42. Li, J., Mangena, M., & Pike, R. (2012). The effect of audit committee characteristics on intellectual capital disclosure. The British accounting review44(2), 98-110.
  43. Madi, H. K., Ishak, Z., & Manaf, N. A. A. (2014). The impact of audit committee characteristics on corporate voluntary disclosure. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences164, 486-492.
  44. McDaniel, L., Martin, R. D., & Maines, L. A. (2002). Evaluating financial reporting quality: the effects of financial expertise vs. financial literacy. The accounting review77(s-1), 139-167.
  45. Mintzberg, H. (1983). The case for corporate social responsibility. Journal of business strategy, 4(2), 3-15.
  46. Mouna, A., & Anis, J. (2013). Financial reporting delay and investors behavior: evidence from Tunisia. International journal of management and business research, 3(1), 57-67. (In Persian). https://www.sid.ir/en/Journal/ViewPaper.aspx?ID=352763
  47. Owusu-Ansah, S. (2000). Timeliness of corporate financial reporting in emerging capital markets: empirical evidence from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Accounting and business research30(3), 241-254.
  48. Persons, O. S. (2005). The relation between the new corporate governance rules and the likelihood of financial statement fraud. Review of accounting and finance, 4(2), 125-148.
  49. Powell, M., & Ansic, D. (1997). Gender differences in risk behaviour in financial decision-making: an experimental analysis. Journal of economic psychology18(6), 605-628.
  50. Song, J., & Windram, B. (2004). Benchmarking audit committee effectiveness in financial reporting. International journal of auditing8(3), 195-205.
  51. Sultana, N., Singh, H., & Van der Zahn, J. L. M. (2015). Audit committee characteristics and audit report lag. International journal of auditing19(2), 72-87.
  52. Sultana, N. (2015). Audit committee characteristics and accounting conservatism. International journal of auditing19(2), 88-102.
  53. Takhtai, N., Tamimi, M. & Mousavi, Z. (2011). Role of the audit committee in financial reporting quality. Journal of certified public accountants, 15, 45-56.
  54. Turley, S., & Zaman, M. (2007). Audit committee effectiveness: informal processes and behavioural effects. Accounting, Auditing & accountability journal, 20(5), 765-788.
  55. Emeh, Y., & Ebimobowei, A. (2013). Audit committee and timeliness of financial reports: empirical evidence from Nigeria. Journal of economics and sustainable development4(20), 14-25.
  56. Sarbanes, P. (2002, July). Sarbanes-oxley act of 2002. Retrieved from http://www.gscpa.org/Content/Files/NP_Nov08outline.pdf