Internal control reporting by non-accelerated filers

Vishal Munsif, Florida International University


I examine three issues related to internal control reporting by non-accelerated filers. Motivation for the three studies comes from the fact that Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) continues to be controversial, as evidenced by the permanent exemption from Section 404(b) of SOX granted to non-accelerated filers by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act also requires the SEC to study compliance costs associated with smaller accelerated filers. ^ In the first part of my dissertation, I document that the audit fee premium for non-accelerated filers disclosing a material weakness in internal controls (a) is significantly lower than the corresponding premium for accelerated filers, and (b) declines significantly over time. I also find that in the case of accelerated filers remediating clients pay lower fees compared to clients continuing to report internal control problems; however, such differences are not observed in the case of non-accelerated filers. ^ The second essay focuses on audit report lag. The results indicate that presence of material weaknesses are associated with increased audit report lags, for both accelerated and non-accelerated filers. The results also indicate that the decline in report lag following remediation of problems is greater for accelerated filers than for non-accelerated filers. ^ The third essay examines early warnings (pursuant to Section 302 disclosures) for firms that subsequently disclosed internal control problems in their 404 reports. The analyses indicate that non-accelerated firms with shorter CFO tenure, presence of accounting experts on the audit committee, and more frequent audit committee meetings are more likely to provide prior Section 302 warnings. ^ Overall the results suggest that there are differences in internal control reporting between the accelerated and non-accelerated filers. The results provide empirical grounding for the ongoing debate about internal control reporting by non-accelerated filers.^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Accounting

Recommended Citation

Munsif, Vishal, "Internal control reporting by non-accelerated filers" (2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3484188.