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The impact of ownership structure, board attributes and XBRL mandate on timeliness of financial reporting: Evidence from Turkey
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CitationAksoy, M., Yılmaz, M.K., Topcu, N. ve Uysal, Ö. (2021). The impact of ownership structure, board attributes and XBRL mandate on timeliness of financial reporting: evidence from Turkey. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, article in press.
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of ownership structure, board attributes and eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) on annual financial reporting timeliness of non-financial companies listed on Borsa Istanbul (BIST). Design/methodology/approach –To conduct the analyses, the authors used two samples. The main sample consists of 187 companies, while the subsample includes 54 companies in the BIST 100 index. The data set covers the 2010–2018 period. To investigate the influence of ownership structure, board attributes and XBRL on timeliness, panel regression and univariate analyses were used. To explore the factors associated with the likelihood of late filing, panel logistic regression analyses were employed. Findings –The findings provide evidence that companies that have a high level of institutional ownership and women board membership file earlier. In line with prior studies, profitable companies file their accounts faster. Highly leveraged companies are late reporters. Further, XBRL has a positive influence on the filing of financial reports for the BIST 100 companies due to technological agility. Finally, companies that have less institutional ownership and that get qualified audit opinions are more subject to late filing. Research limitations/implications – The authors acknowledge that this study has certain limitations. First, the results may not be generalized to the entire BIST population due to the exclusion of financial companies from the samples. Future research may explore the financial reporting timeliness of these companies. Second, the study did not investigate the relationship between timeliness and the information content in financial statements and the market reactions they arouse. Third, this study is trying to find out early evidence on the mandatory adoption of XBRL filings, which cover only three-year period due to the recent implementation of this regulatory practice. Thus, it needs further elaboration after the accumulation of data in the forthcoming years by the expansion of the sample beyond the 2016–2018 period. As companies would have more time to become familiar with XBRL, a more reliable conclusion may be drawn. Further, the study particularly focuses on the effect of XBRL adoption on the timeliness among filers. XBRL could also influence investors, auditors and other stakeholders. Future research could investigate the influence of XBRL on different stakeholders to produce more insightful implications. Practical implications – This study offers several implications for managers, regulators and policy makers. First, companies that do not make timely financial reporting may find it more difficult to attract long-term capital by means of institutional investors. Since these investors view timely reporting as an ideal ingredient in corporate governance, it may have a positive impact on company reputation and corporate sustainability. The results also provide insights for regulatory authorities, policy makers and auditors on the causes of the reporting lag, thereby increasing their awareness and helping them in their decision-making process since improvements in timely availability and accessibility of financial information reduce information asymmetry for users and increase market efficiency. Additionally, companies that reduce their filing timeframe will be able to compare their results with other companies. However, the XBRL mandate could be much more burdensome to smaller firms. This may stem from the fact that larger firms may tend to use the in-house approach for XBRL and can afford more advanced financial reporting systems with automated coding algorithms attached to streamline their XBRL filings, whereas smaller firms are more likely to use the outsourcing approach due to the difference in the level of resources available for XBRL preparation. This finding also lends support to recent concerns that new technology creates an unleveled benefit in reporting efficiency for large companies, but not for small ones (e.g. Blankespooret al., 2014). This benefit may change the dynamics of the financial market and information environment, leading to further segmentation of the capital markets. The positive effects of XBRL adoption may accrue over time due to the potential benefits of learning curve experience since the XBRL mandate will help companies automate their reporting process and information processing, thereby strengthening internal control over financial reporting (Deloitte, 2013; Du et al., 2013; Li, 2017). Companies may also efficiently incorporate auditor-proposed adjustments by cross-referencing impacted accounts and prepare revised versions of the financial reports, which are automatically rendered in various formats for auditors to assess (Wu and Vasarhelyi, 2004). Finally, investors and other users of financial information benefit from having quicker access to data, since this allows them to make more timely and reliable decisions, leading to greater benefits. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the literature on the impact of adopting XBRL on the timeliness of financial reporting in emerging markets. Second, this study extends the literature and provides evidence on determinants of timeliness, covering both ownership structure and board attributes besides firm-specific characteristics. Hence, it provides valuable insights for companies, investors, auditing firms and policy makers.