The Effect of Reporting Frequency on the Timeliness of Earnings: The Cases of Voluntary and Mandatory Interim Reports
50 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2002
Date Written: August 2006
We examine whether financial reporting frequency affects the speed with which accounting information is reflected in security prices. For a sample of 28,824 reporting-frequency observations from 1950 to 1973, we find little evidence of differences in timeliness between firms reporting quarterly and those reporting semiannually, even after controlling for self-selection. However, firms that voluntarily increased reporting frequency from semiannual to quarterly experienced increased timeliness, while firms whose increase was mandated by the SEC did not. We conclude that there is little evidence to support the claim that regulation forcing firms to report more frequently improves earnings timeliness.
Keywords: Earnings timeliness, voluntary disclosure, regulation, information asymmetry, agency costs
JEL Classification: D82, G38, M41, L51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation