Using a measure of social capital provided by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, we document that, after controlling for auditor effort, firms headquartered in U.S. counties with higher social capital are less likely to have ineffective internal control over financial reporting than those located in regions with lower social capital. This negative association between local social capital and ineffective internal controls holds when other forms of external monitoring are weak. We also find that the association is driven by ineffective internal control arising from entity-level, but not from account-specific, material weaknesses. Overall, we contribute to the literature that links firms' social environment with financial reporting quality.
Data Availability: Data are available from public sources identified in the paper.