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Are Modified Audit Opinions Related to the Availability of Credit? Evidence from Finnish SMEs

  • Lasse Niemi
  • Stefan Sundgren
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    We study the association between credit availability and modified audit opinions using a sample of more than 50,000 observations for small- and medium-sized companies. Studies in finance suggest that companies use trade-credit as a source of financing when institutional debt is not available (e.g. Petersen and Rajan, 1994; Danielsson and Scott, 2004). Building on these studies, we study whether modified audit opinions are associated with an increased use of trade credit relative to bank debt. We find no association between modified audit opinions and our measure of credit rationing. Our archival evidence focusing on SMEs is contrary to much of the earlier research finding that modified audit opinions provide incremental information for lenders. Our study adds to the scarce literature on the role of audit reports as a source of information in SME finance.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09638180.2012.671465
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 767-796

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:21:y:2012:i:4:p:767-796
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