An important qualitative attribute of financial statements is timeliness. The recognition that the length of the audit may be the single most important determinant affecting the timing of earnings’ announcements has motivated recent research on audit delay. The present study extends prior research by examining the multivariate relationship between a set of explanatory variables and audit delay for a large sample of New Zealand public companies. Further, the study includes two explanatory variables, company control (i.e. owner control versus manager control) and debt proportion, which have not previously been considered. The results indicate that both company size and sign of income significantly affect audit delay across the two years examined. Five other explanatory variables significantly affected audit delay for one of the two years examined. The adjusted R2s of the regression models, however, were relatively low. Additional analysis was also performed on each company control subsample. These results revealed that the effect of company size and income sign may be conditional upon company control. Implications from the results of the study for future research are discussed.
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