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The timeliness of UK private company financial reporting: Regulatory and economic influences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-315
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 17 May 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2016


This paper investigates the extent to which the timeliness of UK private companies' accounting information reflects regulatory and economic influences by studying the impact of a one month shortening of the statutory regulatory filing deadline. Using the financial reporting lag and propensity to file late as measures of timeliness, we find that although reporting behaviour is largely driven by regulatory deadlines, companies conjectured to be producing accounting information for reporting to outside investors publish their accounts significantly more quickly, and are substantially less likely to file beyond the statutory deadline (late), than their counterparts lacking similar incentives. However, in terms of this reporting lag differential, the change in regulation had a homogeneous impact. We report a significant reduction in the mean and median filing time, but an increase of 46% in the proportion of firms filing late, in the year following the regulatory change. Our results are robust to the employment of a number of different estimation methods, including matching and Huber and median regression.

    Research areas

  • Private company financial reporting, Regulation, Voluntary audit, Timeliness, Late filing

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  • BAR_Clatworthy_Peel_R2

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at

    Accepted author manuscript, 737 KB, PDF document


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