بهنگام بودن افشاگری های حسابداری در بازارهای بین المللی امنیتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|14204||2008||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Review of Financial Analysis, , Volume 17, Issue 5, December 2008, Pages 849-869
In this study, we examine financial reporting lags, the incidence of late filing, and the relationship between reporting lags, firm performance and the degree of capital market scrutiny. We use a large sample of firms spanning 22 countries over a eleven-year period. A focal point of our analysis is whether the incidence of late filing, and the relations between reporting days and other variables, differ systematically between common and code law countries. Relative to U.S. firms, we report that the time taken and allowed for filing is usually longer in other countries and that the statutory requirement is more frequently violated. Timely filing is found to be less frequent in code law countries. Poor firm performance and longer reporting lags are more strongly linked in common law countries. We also find that whereas greater capital market scrutiny and more timely filing are related, there is less support for a relationship between the level of debt financing and timely filing in code law countries.
In the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission required public domestic corporations to file financial statements within 90 days of their fiscal year end.3Alford, Jones, and Zmijewski (1994) (hereafter AJZ) examine the timeliness of accounting disclosures and report that firms who file beyond the filing requirement have poorer performance by both accounting measures and stock returns. The late filers have lower returns on equity, smaller growth in earnings per share, higher financial leverage, and lower internal liquidity for the fiscal year in which they file late. Market-adjusted stock returns are also lower during the fiscal year in which the firm files late. Furthermore, the authors find that market-adjusted stock returns for late filers are lower in the post 90-day period, past the time when an investor would already be aware that a late filing firm was potentially facing financial difficulty. These returns are also lower the later a firm files past the regulatory requirement. Numerous authors have suggested that the timeliness and value relevance of financial reporting is strongly influenced by the fundamental nature of legal systems in different countries. In their characterization of accounting systems, Joos and Lang (1994) describe the Continental model, present in Germany, France, most of continental Europe and Japan, as one where public reporting is not emphasized. The focus of the Continental model has traditionally been on debtholders, due in part to the large debtholdings of banks. In contrast, the Anglo-Saxon model, present in the U.K. and former colonies, focuses on equity holders and presenting a “true and fair view” of the firm's financial operations. Similarly, Ball, Kothari, and Robin (2000) group countries into those with common law systems, where a shareholder governance model prevails and accounting practices are determined primarily in the private sector, and those with code law systems. The latter generally have a stakeholder governance model whereby major groups contracting with the firm (such as banks, debtholders and labor unions) are represented on corporate boards, and national governments establish and enforce accounting standards. Ball, Kothari and Robin hypothesize that there is less demand for public disclosure in code law countries because there is greater monitoring of the firm's operations by banks and other stakeholders with close relationships with the firm. Other studies have highlighted the important distinctions between countries which closely correspond to the common vs. code law classification of Ball et al. (2000). For example, La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, Shleifer, and Vishny (1998) find that investor protection varies systematically by legal origin. Examining minority shareholder voting rights, they find that English common law countries provide the most protection to shareholders. In a related study, La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, Shleifer, and Vishny (1997) find that countries with the weakest investor protection have the least developed capital markets and lower levels of equity financing. Finally, Ali and Hwang (2000) characterize country accounting standards in five ways: whether the financial system is bank oriented or market oriented; whether the accounting standards are set by public or private bodies; whether a Continental accounting model or British-American model is present; the influence of tax rules on accounting standards; and the amount spent on external auditing services. These five factors are found to be highly interrelated. For example, the countries characterized as code law oriented in Ball et. al. are bank oriented with accounting standards set by governmental bodies. These Continental accounting model countries have high alignment between accounting and tax statements and spend relatively little on external auditing. Virtually all previous research that examines the interaction between a country's legal system and the accounting practices of firms domiciled therein focuses on the value relevance of firms' financial statements. One common model for measuring value relevance is that of Basu (1997), in which the earnings yield is regressed on the contemporaneous return on the firm's common stock; the closer the slope coefficient is to the firm's cost of equity capital, the greater the value relevance of reported earnings. In Basu's model, differential impacts are also allowed depending on whether the stock return is positive or negative. Basu finds that bad news (as proxied by negative stock returns) is indeed generally reflected in reported earnings more quickly than good news, as evidenced by a higher slope coefficient between contemporaneous stock returns and earnings yields when stock returns are negative; he defines this property as conservatism. Ball et al. (2000) examine the relation between reported net income and fiscal year stock returns, in the context of Basu's (1997) model, for three code law countries (France, Germany and Japan) and four common law countries (Australia, Canada, U.K. and U.S.) from 1985 to 1995. They find that the relationship is stronger for common law countries than for code law countries and confirm this finding in subsets of tests with eighteen countries. In further tests, they show that the stronger relationship is due to more timely recognition of losses (i.e. greater conservatism) in common law countries. Using a slightly different methodology, Ali and Hwang (2000) examine data for 16 countries and regress stock returns against earnings and book value of equity as a measure of the value relevance of accounting statements. Ali and Hwang find that the value relevance of accounting statements in countries with code law characteristics is low. Recent studies have questioned the importance of the common vs. code law classification in explaining differences in the value relevance of earnings across countries. Giner and Rees (2001) and Raonic, McLeay, and Asimakopoulos (2004) argue that the relation between reported earnings and stock returns is very similar across European countries, regardless of legal system classification. In contrast, Garcia Lara, Garcia Osma, and Mora (2005) confirm the importance of a country's legal system: they argue that code law based firms have incentives to reduce earnings consistently, enhancing the association between earnings and returns in bad news periods. They show that the differential earnings response to bad news in Germany and France (both code law countries) decreases significantly. Similarly, Leuz, Nanda, and Wysocki (2003) find that earnings management varies by code and common law classification. Other recent studies argue that the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in January 2005 will influence the reporting practices of European Union firms [see Ormrod and Taylor (2004)]. Hung and Subramanyam (in press) examine German firms that adopted shareholder-oriented, fair-value based International Accounting Standards. They find that the firms' reported earnings are more volatile, relative to those firms that used traditional German standards designed to satisfy the needs of banks, the government, and other stakeholders. However, Tendeloo and Vanstraelen (2005) examine IFRS adopting and non-IFRS adopting German firms and find no difference in earnings management practices. The main purpose of our study is to extend AJZ's analysis of the timeliness of accounting disclosures in the United States to other countries. Specifically, we examine reporting lags, and the relation between these reporting lags and accounting and stock market performance, for annual accounting statements in 22 countries over a eleven-year period. We collect the reporting requirements for these countries through contacts with foreign stock exchanges or regulatory authorities. We report the incidence of on-time vs. late filing by country, and we regress reporting days (the number of days elapsed from fiscal year end to the release of financial statements) on variables proxying for both firm performance and capital market scrutiny. A focal point of our analysis is whether reporting days, the incidence of late filing, and the relations between reporting days and other variables, differ systematically between common and code law countries. The contribution of our study is threefold. First, no published study has, to our knowledge, examined whether the descriptive and performance-related characteristics associated with late filers in the U.S., as documented by AJZ, exist in foreign countries. Second, though Frost and Kinney (1996) document less timely filing of statements by foreign issuers, their study focused on 156 firms listed in the U.S. during 1990. Similarly, though Bavishi (1995) reports on the relationship between profitability and time elapsed for the audit report for one year of data, he does not examine statutory requirement violations and other performance measures. Our sample period covers eleven years, examines several performance measures, and uses firms with non-U.S. listings. Third, whereas the analysis of timeliness in Frost and Kinney is reported for foreign firms as a whole, our analysis examines this issue on a country by country basis and on a common vs. code law basis. Thus, our study contributes to the literature on international accounting diversity, and the findings in this paper may have implications for the broader flow of international accounting research that examines the relations between reported earnings and stock returns. The balance of this paper is organized as follows: In Section 2 we provide a description of the data and present hypotheses to be tested. The timeliness of international filing is examined in Section 3, and relations between reporting days and firm-specific variables are explored in Section 4. Section 5 concludes the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this investigation of the filing timeliness of annual accounting statements in 22 countries over a eleven year period, we report that the time allowed for filing in other countries is usually longer than the 90 days required in the U.S., and (with the exception of Singapore) that the statutory requirement is more frequently violated. When we classify countries by legal system using the same metric as Ball et al. (2000), a key finding of our study is that timely filing is less frequent in code law countries, as the mean number of days to file and the incidence of late filing are both significantly greater in code law countries than in common law countries. We also show that geographic distinctions, by themselves, do not explain differences in timeliness across countries, and that timeliness has generally increased during our sample period. When we examine relations between reporting days (the number of days after fiscal year end that a firm takes to report financial results) and firm-specific variables, two findings stand out. First, there is a highly significant and robust negative relation between return on equity and reporting days in common law countries; in contrast, there is no evidence of any uniformly or even predominantly negative relation between these variables in code law countries. If ROE can be interpreted as our most important proxy for firm performance, this result implies that late-filing firms tend to be poor performers in common law (but not in code law) countries. This finding, which to some degree extends those of Alford et al. (1994) for the U.S. to common law countries, is consistent with our hypothesis H3 and with numerous studies, e.g. Ball et al. (2000), La Porta et al., 1997 and La Porta et al., 1998, Ali and Hwang (2000), which suggest that firms do not have as great an incentive to report on a timely basis in code law countries. Due to these lesser incentives, we surmise that late filing in these countries is not significantly related to poor performance, because late filing in general is much more common and many firms that are good performers also file late. A second noteworthy finding in our study is that among variables proxying for the degree of public capital market scrutiny that a firm is likely to face, market value of equity is most closely associated with filing timeliness. We find a highly significant negative relation between reporting days and market value of equity in most common law countries, i.e. firms with larger market capitalizations tend to file more quickly. Although there is some evidence of a negative relation in code law countries as well, the association between market capitalization and reporting days in these countries is less strong. Using univariate tests, we also report a significant, negative relation between analyst following and reporting days in many countries. There is limited support for the hypothesis that firms with greater financial leverage in code law countries file their financial reports on a less timely basis. In summary, the results of our study support the contention of Joos and Lang (1994) and Ball et al. (2000) that a country's legal system strongly influences a firms' financial reporting. Our findings suggest that the common vs. code law distinction is key, and that further investigation of how earnings management practices distort the relation between reported earnings and stock returns, along the lines of Garcia Lara et al. (2005) but using a broader set of countries, may prove fruitful. The availability of daily returns in these markets would also provide evidence as to whether the immediate market reaction to late filing varies by common and code law countries. Lastly, the use of other proxy variables for firm profitability, growth, size, and liquidity may yield additional insight into the relative differences between common and code law country firms