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Audit firm industry specialization and the audit report lag


  • Habib, Ahsan
  • Bhuiyan, Md. Borhan Uddin


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Habib, Ahsan & Bhuiyan, Md. Borhan Uddin, 2011. "Audit firm industry specialization and the audit report lag," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 32-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jiaata:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:32-44
    DOI: 10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2010.12.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
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    10. Soltani, Bahram, 2002. "Timeliness of corporate and audit reports: Some empirical evidence in the French context," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 215-246.
    11. Gul, Ferdinand A. & Fung, Simon Yu Kit & Jaggi, Bikki, 2009. "Earnings quality: Some evidence on the role of auditor tenure and auditors' industry expertise," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 265-287, June.
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    6. Reheul, Anne-Mie & Van Caneghem, Tom & Verbruggen, Sandra, 2011. "Auditor choice in the Belgian nonprofit sector: a behavioral perspective," Working Papers 2011/36, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
    7. repec:ibn:ijefaa:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:48-56 is not listed on IDEAS
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    10. Shokrollah Khajavi & Akbar Zare, 2016. "The Effect of Audit Quality on Stock Crash Risk in Tehran Stock Exchange," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 20-25.
    11. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:616-629 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:20:y:2017:i:01:n:s0219091517500060 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Pei-Gi Shu & Tsung-Kang Chen & Wen-Jye Hung, 2015. "Audit duration quality and client credit risk," Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 137-162, June.
    14. repec:spr:jknowl:v:10:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s13132-016-0444-y is not listed on IDEAS


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