AUDIT DELAY IN NIGERIA: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM EMERGING MARKET

(Accounting)

AUDIT DELAY IN NIGERIA: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM EMERGING MARKET
ABSTRACT

This study examines the impact of audit delay on timeliness of financial reporting in Nigerian quoted companies. To empirically examine audit delay in Nigeria, secondary data were collected from the 2nd tier security market and some few food and leverages companies in order to have a valid and valuable result. An ordinary least square (OLS) technique was adopted to estimate the relationship between audit delay. Finding from the study show that there is a strong positive association between audit firm size (AUUFS) and audit delay. Company size had a significant negative impact in audit delay. However a negative association was observed between level of profitability, audit fee and audit delay of financial reporting. The study recommends that big audit firm should be allowed to audit the financial statements, the size of the firm and the level of performance should be improved upon to eliminate audit delay in financial reporting.     
Key word: Audit delay, timeliness, timeliness determinant in Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
Statement of Research Problem
Research Questions
Objective of the Study
Research Hypothesis
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Limitation of the Study
References
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0    Introduction
2.1    Previous Empirical Studies
2.2    Empirical Studies in Developing Countries
2.3    Corporate Attributes and Audit Delay Relationship
2.4    Summary
References

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.0    Introduction  
3.1    Research Design
3.2    Population
3.3    Sampling Method
3.4    Data Collection/Source
3.5    Data Analysis
3.6    Model Specification
CHAPTER FOUR:    DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULT
4.0    Introduction
4.1    Presentation and Analysis of Result
CHAPTER FIVE:    SUMMARY OF FINDING, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
5.0    Summary of Findings
5.1    Discussion of Findings
5.2    Recommendations
5.3    Policy Implication of Findings
5.4    Conclusion
Bibliography
Appendix
  CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The usefulness of published corporate reports depends on their accuracy and their timeliness. As regard these, timeliness of cooperate annual financial reports is considered to be critical and an important factor affecting the usefulness of information made available to external users.
Timeliness as one of the qualitative attributes or characteristics of useful information or relevant disclosure was been first considered by the American Accounting Association. Subsequently other bodies followed suit this body include the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Canada  (ICAC), the Accounting Principle Board (APB) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). All followed the AAA in (1954) path; and since then till now, timeliness has been recognized as one of the important characteristics of financial statement by the professional bodies, regulatory authorities, financial analyst, investors and managers and the academics.
Timeliness requires that information should be made available to financial statement uses as quickly as possible (Carslaw and Kaplam, 1991) and it is necessary condition to be satisfied of financial statement are to be useful (Davies and Whittred, 1980; P. 48 – 49). It has been argued that the shorter the time between the end of accounting year and publication date, the more benefit can be derived from the audited annual report (Adulla, 1996). The length of audit process highly affects the timeliness of corporate financial reporting. Hence, many accounting researchers have studied the phenomenon of audit delay in different countries.
Audit delay is defined here as the length of time from a company’s financial year end to the date of the auditor report. The usefulness of the information disclosed in company annual report, will decline as the time lag increases, and it has been  argued by Abdulla (1996) that the longer the period between year end and publication of the annual report, the higher the chances that the information will be leaked to some interested investors.
The length of the audit has been regarded as the “single most important determinant of the timeliness of the earning announcements’ (Givoy and Palmon; 1982, p. 419). This study tends to examine not only the determinant of audit delay, but also extends to use the secondary market empirically.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
In the context of these study (Audit delay) much attention have been layed on the private sector, 1st tier public quoted companies giving little attention to the emerging markets i.e non quoted companies (2nd tier market) as to the factor that determine audit delay in Nigeria. It is to this aspect that this research extends to find out empirically factors that cause audit delay in non financial organization.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Following the above research problems, the research work posses the following research questions to be answered in this study.     
To what extent do company’s size affect financial reporting timeliness?
Is there any effect of audit opinion on financial reporting timeliness?
What is the effect of debt equity ratio of financial reporting timeliness?
How does industry type relates to financial reporting timeliness?
Is audit firm size positively or negatively related to financial reporting timeliness?    
Does profitability has any effect in timely preparation a company’s financial report?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine audit delay in Nigeria. However, the following specified objectives shall be achieved in the cause of this study.
To investigate the relationship between companies size and financial reporting timeliness.
To examine the effect of audit opinion on financial reporting timeliness.
To ascertain the effect of profitability on financial reporting timeliness.
To test if debt equity ratio affects financial reporting timeliness.
To verify if audit firm size has effect on financial reporting timeliness.
RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Hypotheses are conjectures, providing tentative solution to research questions. The following hypotheses are formulated for this study.  
HO:    Companies with greater assets does not have any effect on financial reporting timeliness.  
H1:    Companies with greater assets does have a positive effect on financial reporting timeliness.
HO:    A firm with positive earnings (profit) does have effect on financial report timeliness.
H1:     Audit firm size has a positive impact on financial reporting timeliness.
HO:    Debt equity ratio is negatively related to financial reporting timeliness.
Ho:     Debt equity ratio is positively related to financial reporting timeliness.
H1:    Debt equity is positively related to financial reporting timeliness.
Ho:    Audit fee to not have any effect on financial reporting timeliness.
H1:    Audit fee do have effect on financial reporting timeliness.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study can be of great usage and benefit to investors, government, researchers, corporate firms, financial analyst and other uses of information, in the sense that it answers questions raised as to audit delay and its determinants, and proffers solutions to the questions raised.  
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
These research study covers a period of 5 years 2005 – 2009 annual report of 12 listed, 2nd tier market (companies) in Nigeria, using a random sampling technique.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research study examines and test factors influencing audit delay in companies, but poses some limitations.
Work, also limited availability of resources, also research as this are extensive, which also limits these based on the paucity of funds.
REFERENCES
Abdulla, J.Y.A. (1996) “The Timeliness of Bahrani Annual Report”, Advanced in International Accounting, Vol. 9, pp. 73 – 88.
American Accounting Association (1955) “Standards of Disclosure for Published Financial Reports”, Supplementary Statement No. 8, the Accounting Review, July.
Carslaw, C.A.P.N., and Kaplan, S.E. (1991), “An Examination and Audit Delay: Further Evidence from New Zealand”, Accounting and Business Research, Winter, pp. 21 – 32.
Givoly, G and Palmon, D. (1982) “Timeliness of Annual Earnings Announcement; some empirical evidence”, the accounting review, vol, LVII No. 3 July, pp. 486 – 508.     
              

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