• Delay in filing the financial statements: An empirical analysis among small firms

      Van Caneghem, Tom; Luypaert, Mathieu; Van Uytbergen, Steve (2014)
      We examine delay in filing the financial statements among a large sample of Belgian small firms and find that reporting delay is affected by demand for information (e.g., larger firms tend to report more quickly); specific reporting incentives (e.g., firms tend to delay the disclosure of unfavorable information); and the financial reporting “production process” (e.g., older firms tend to report quickly, which is consistent with a learning curve effect). We note that there is a subsample of early filers, for which the drivers of financial reporting timeliness are found to be different from those identified based on the full sample. Our results further indicate that extremely late filings are associated with lower financial statement quality. Importantly, about 31 percent of the financial statements in our sample are being filed late (i.e., after the legal deadline), but our results suggest that monetary sanctions could be an effective tool in order to ensure compliance with the imposed legal deadline.