Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to employ agency theory to identify the determinants of the audit delay among Palestinian companies listed on Palestine Stock Exchange (PSE). Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the agency theory, eight hypotheses are tested using data collected from the year 2011 annual reports for all the 46 listed companies on PSE. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify the influence of a set of company characteristics, ownership structure variables, and corporate governance mechanisms. Findings – The result of the analysis demonstrated that the audit reporting delay is influenced by the board size, corporate size, status of audit firm, company complexity, existence of audit committee, and ownership dispersion. Research limitations/implications – The main shortcoming of the current study is that the analysis covered the Palestinian companies’ annual reports for only one year. A time series analysis might give fuller and understandable picture about the audit report lag (ARL) determinants. The outcome of the study can be used by companies’ managements and policy makers in Palestine to improve future disclosure. Originality/value – This paper adds to the limited audit delay literature in Middle East countries in general and Arab World in particular. This paper not only examines the determinants of the audit delay but also attempts to theorize such delay.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2016