An examination of audit report lag for banks: A panel data approach

B. Charlene Henderson, Steven E. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This study investigates the determinants of audit report lag (ARL) for a sample of banks. Researchers have been interested in the determinants of ARL, in part, because it impacts the timeliness of public disclosures. However, prior ARL research has relied exclusively on regression analysis of cross-sectional samples of companies from many industries. In addition to focusing exclusively on banks, panel data analysis is introduced and compared with cross-sectional analysis to demonstrate its power in dynamic settings and its potential to improve estimation. Results reveal important differences between cross-sectional analysis and panel data analysis. First, bank size is negatively related to ARL in cross-section but positively related to ARL using panel data analysis. The cross-sectional size estimate is subject to omitted variables bias, and furthermore, cross-sectional analysis fails to capture variation in size over time in relation to ARL. Panel data analysis both accounts for omitted variables and captures the dynamics of the relationship between size and ARL. As well, the panel data model's explanatory power far exceeds that of the cross-sectional model. This is primarily due to the panel model's use of firm-specific intercepts that both capture the role of reporting tradition and eliminate heterogeneity bias. Thus, panel data analysis proves to be a powerful tool in the analysis of ARL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-174
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Audit report lag
  • Banking
  • Panel data analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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