Audit timeliness and market capitalization: Evidence from an emerging market
This paper analyses the lag of audit reports for companies included on Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX). Its purpose is to define which of listed variables have an influence on the length of time between the end of the financial reporting period and the date the audit report is made public. The research sample includes 400 firm year observations for 2017, representing approximately 70% of the total number of public companies on the BELEX. The results are interpreted through descriptive analysis, correlation analysis between the given variables, and linear regression. Based on these results, the authors created a model which highlights critical factors in estimating Audit Report Lag (ARL). Research results have shown that the level of market capitalization represents a statistically significant variable for predicting ARL. Companies with higher market capitalization can expect reports more quickly than other companies. Research results may assist prospective and existing investors when analysing investment risks related to the accuracy and reliability of information presented in financial statements. Regarding its contribution, this paper is considered original as it is the first paper that analyses the factors affecting ARL in the Republic of Serbia.
Abdulla, J. (1996). The Timeliness of Bahraini Annual Reports. Advances in International Accounting, 9(1), 73-88.
Afify, H. (2009). Determinants of Audit Report Lag: Does Implementing Corporate Governance Have any Impact? Empirical Evidence from Egypt, Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 10(1), 56-86.
Ahmed, A. A., & Hossain, M. S. (2010). Audit Report Lag: A Study of the Bangladeshi Listed Companies. ASA University Review, 4(1), 49-56.
Ahmed, K. (2003). The Timeliness of Corporate Reporting: A Comparative Study of South Asia. Advances in International Accounting, 16(1), 17-43.
Akingunola, R. O., Soyemi, K. A., & Okunuga, R. (2018). Client Attributes and the Audit Report Lag in Nigeria. Market Forces Journal of management, business and economics, 8(1), 30-41. Retrieved from http://www.pafkiet.edu.pk/marketforces/index.php/marketforces/article/view/354
Al-Ajmi, J. (2008). Audit and Reporting Delays: Evidence from an Emerging Market. Advances in Accounting, 24(1), 217–226.
Al-Ghanem, W., & Hegazy, M. (2011). An empirical analysis of audit delays and timeliness of corporate financial reporting in Kuwait. Eurasian Business Review, 1(1) 73-90.
Alkhatib, K., & Marji, Q. (2012). Audit Reports Timeliness: Empirical evidence from Jordan. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 62(1), 1342 – 1349.
Amirul, S. M., & Salleh, M. F. (2014). Convergence to IFRs and Audit Report Lag in Malaysia. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting, 5(1), 9-16. Retrieved from
Ashton, R. H., Graul, P. R., & Newton, J. D. (1989). Audit Delay and the Timeliness of Corporate Reporting. Contemporary Accounting Research, 5(2), 657-673.
Ashton, R. H., Willingham, J. J., & Elliott, R. K. (1987). An Empirical Analysis of Audit Delay. Journal of Accounting Research, 25(1), 92-275.
Azami, Z., & Salehi, T. (2016). The Relationship Between Audit Report Delay and Investment Opportunities. Eurasian Bus Rev, 13(5), 1-13.
Azubike, J., & Aggreh, M. (2014). Corporate Governance and Audit Delay in Nigerian Quoted Companies. European Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance Research, 2(1), 22-33.
Bamber, E. M., Bamber, L. S., & Schoderbek, M. P. (1993). Audit Structure and Other Determinants of Audit Report Lag: An Empirical Analysis. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 12(1), 1-23.
Banimahd, B., Moradzadehfard, M., & Zeynali, M. (2012). Audit Report Lag and Auditor Change: Evidence from Iran. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(1), 12278–12282.
Belgrade Stock Exchange. (2019). Information Services. Retrieved from https://www.belex.rs/proizvodi_i_usluge/recnik
Boljanovic, S., & Hadzic, M. (2017). Impact of Foreign Direct Investments on Serbian Industry. Industrija, 45(3), 39-64.
Bonson-Ponte, E., Escobar-Rodríguez, T., & Borrero‐Domínguez, C. (2008). Empirical analysis of delays in the signing of audit reports in Spain. International Journal of Auditing, 12(1), 129-140.
Carslaw, C. A., & Kaplan, S. E. (1991). An Examination of Audit Delay: Further Evidence from New Zealand. Accounting and Business Research, 22(85), 21-32.
Che-Ahmad, A., & Abidin, S. (2008). Audit Delay of Listed Companies: A Case of Malaysia. International Business Research, 1(4), 32-39.
Cooke, T. (1989). An Empirical Study of Financial Disclosure by Swedish Companies. New York: Garland.
Courtis, J. (1976). Relationship between Timeliness in Corporate Reporting and Corporate Attributes. Accounting and Business Research, 7(25), 45-56.
Davies, B., & Whittered, G. (1980). The Association between Selected Corporate Attributes and Timeliness in Corporate Reporting: Further Analysis. Abacus, 16(1), 48-60.
El-Dyasty, M. M. (2011). Egyptian Audit Report Lag: An Empirical Study for Audit Efficiency of Earlier Issuance versus Late Issuance. The Egyptian Journal of Commercial Studies, 35(1), 2-37.
Enofe, A. O., Ediae, O. O., & Okunega, E. C. (2013). Audit Delay and Audit Quality: The Nigerian Experience. Research Journal of Social Science and Management, 3(1), 75-83.
Ezat, A. N. (2015). The Impact of Audit- Related Factors on Audit Report Lag for the Egyptian Listed Non- financial Companies. Journal of the Faculty of Commerce for Scientific Research, 10(1), 1-45.
Givoly, D., & Palmon, D. (1982). Timeliness of Annual Earnings Announcements: Some Empirical Evidence. Accounting review, 4(57), 486-508.
Gligoric, M., Mizdrakovic, V., Kostic, M., & Grzinic, J. (2019). Mandatory Audit: Who Performs Audits of Public Companies on Belgrade Stock Exchange? Paper presented at the International Scientific Conference FINIZ 2019, Belgrade. Retrieved from http://portal.finiz.singidunum.ac.rs/Media/files/2019/62-67.pdf
Habib, A., & Bhuiyan, B. U. (2011). Audit Firm Industry Specialization and the Audit Report Lag. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 20(1), 32-44.
Hashim, U. J., & Rahman, R. A. (2011). Reviewing the Literature on Audit Report Lag and Corporate Governance. Retrieved from
Hassan, Y. M. (2016). Determinants of Audit Report Lag: Evidence from Palestine, Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, 6(1),13-32.
Hossain, M. A., & Taylor, P. J. (1998). An Examination of Audit Delay: Evidence from Pakistan. Retrieved from
Lee, H. Y., & Jahng, G.-J. (2008). Determinants Of Audit Report Lag: Evidence From Korea - An Examination Of Auditor-Related Factors. The Journal of Applied Business Research, 24(2), 27-44.
Iskandar, M. J., & Trisnawati, E. (2010). Faktor-faktor yang mempengaruhi audit report lag pada perusahaan yang terdaftar di bursa efek indonesia, Journal Bisnis Dan Akuntansi, Vol.12 No.3, 175-186.
Jaggi, B., & Tsui, J. (1999). Determinants of Audit Report Lag: Further Evidence from Hong Kong. Accounting and Business Research, 30(1), 17-28.
Khalid, A., & Qais, M. (2012). Audit Reports Timeliness: Empirical Evidence from Jordan. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 62(1), 1342 – 1349.
Khasharmeh, H., & Aljifri, K. (2010). The Timeliness of Annual Reports in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates: An Empirical Comparative Study. The International Journal of Business and Finance Research, 4(1), 51-71.
Lai, K. W., & Cheuk, L. C. (2005). Audit Report Lag, Audit Partner Rotation and Audit Firm Rotation: Evidence from Australia. Hong Kong, Kowloon.
Lee, H., & Jahng, G. (2008). Determinants of Audit Report Lag: Evidence from Korea - an Examination of Auditor-Related Factors. The Journal of Applied Business Research, 24(1), 27-44.
Lee, H.-Y., Mande, V., & Son, M. (2009). Do Lengthy Auditor Tenure and the Provision of Non-Audit Services by the External Auditor Reduce Audit Report Lags? International Journal of Auditing, 19(1), 319–326.
Leventis, S., & Weetman, P. (2004). Timeliness of Financial Reporting: Applicability of Disclosure Theories in an Emerging Capital Market. Accounting and Business Research, 34(1), 43-56.
Leventis, S., Weetman, P., & Caramanis, C. (2005). Determinants of Audit Report Lag: Some Evidence from the Athens Stock Exchange. International Journal of Auditing, 9(1), 45–58.
Mitic, V., Kokic, T., Mizdrakovic, V., & Tereladze, D. (2019). Correlation between Asset Impairment and Profitability of Serbian Listed Companies. Paper presented at the International Scientific Conference FINIZ 2019, Belgrade. Retrieved from
Modugu, P. K., Eragbhe, E., & Ikhatua, O. J. (2012). Determinants of Audit Delay in Nigerian Companies: Empirical Evidence. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting, 3(1), 46-54.
Naser, K., Abdullhameed, H., & Nuseibeh, R. (2007). Determinants of Audit Fees: Empirical Evidance from Emerging Economies. International Journal of Commerce and Management, 17(3), 239-254.
Obradovic, A., Mizdrakovic, V., & Avlijas, G. (2018). Analysis of Audit Report Lag on Serbian Stock Exchange. Paper presented at the Singidunum University International Scientific Conference, Singidunum University, Belgrade. Retrieved from https://singipedia.singidunum.ac.rs/izdanje/42937-analysis-of-audit-report-lag-on-serbian-stock-exchange
Off. Gazette of RS No. 62/2013 i 30/2018. (2018). Law on Accounting. Retrieved from
Off. Gazette of RS No. 62/2013 i 30/2018. (2018). Law on Auditing. Retrieved from
Owusu-Ansah, S. (2000). Timeliness of Corporate Financial Reporting in Emerging Capital Markets: Empirical Evidence from Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Accounting and Business Research, 30(3), 241-254.
Owusu-Ansah, S., & Leventis, S. (2006). Timeliness of Corporate Financial Reporting in Greece. European Accounting Review, 15(2), 273-287.
Pham, T., Dao, M., & Brown, V. L. (2014). Investment Opportunities and Audit Report Lags: Initial Evidence. Accounting and Finance Research, 3(1), 45-57.
Reza, S., & Poudeh, T. (2014). Audit Report Delay and Short-Term Debt Maturity, Journal of Social Issues and Humanities, 2(1), 32-36.
Sarraf, F., Dehkordi, H., & Bakhtiar, H. (2015). Investment Opportunity in Companies and Audit Report Lags: Evidence from Iran. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, 4(1), 1515-1526.
Schwartz, K., & Soo, B. (1996). The Association between Auditor Changes and Reporting Lags. Contemporary Accounting Research, 13(1), 353–370.
Serbian Business Register Agency. (2018). Report on the Business Perfmance of the economy in the Republic of Serbia in 2017. Retrieved from
http://www.apr.gov.rs/, accessed 22 May 2019.
Shukeri, S. N., & Islam, M. A. (2012). The Determinants of Audit Timeliness: Evidence from Malaysia. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 8(7), 3314-3322.
Stanisic, N., Radojevic, T., Mizdrakovic, V., & Stanic, N. (2012). Capital Efficiency Analysis of Serbian Companies. Singidunum Journal od Applied Science, 9(2), 41-49.
Serbian Business Registers Agency. (2018). Criteria for Classification and Limit Values for 2018. Retrieved from http://www.apr.gov.rs
Vuko, T., & Cular, M. (2014). Finding Determinants of Audit Delay by Pooled OLS Regression Analysis. Croatian Operational Research Review, 5(1), 81-91.