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Does Audit Committee Busyness Impact Audit Report Lag?

Awatif Hodaed Alsheikh and Warda Hodaed Alsheikh    


We investigate the effects of both the busyness of audit committee (AC) members and the busyness of audit committee chairs on audit report lag (ARL) among Saudi non-financial firms between 2018 and 2021. In this study, a sample comprising a total of 515 firm-year observations from 140 non-financial firms was used. Measures for the busyness of the AC members and AC chairs, as well as a measure for the ARL, were derived from the previous literature to examine these relationships in Saudi Arabia. Our findings, based on two regression models and random effect estimates, suggest that both the busyness of AC members and the busyness of the AC chairs have positive and significant effects on the ARL. In addition, robustness checks using a different measurement of ARL as well as tests for fixed effect and pooled ordinary least square (OLS) were conducted, and the results confirm our findings. Finally, our findings can help regulators, policymakers, and auditors improve the timeliness of financial information disclosure by Saudi non-financial firms, and they can be expanded to include Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.

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