Internal control reporting continues to be of significant interest to regulators and legislators, as evidenced by the internal control-related requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act (2010) and the JOBS Act (2012) to exempt smaller firms from the requirements of Section 404. We extend prior research on the association between internal control weaknesses and audit report lag by (1) using data from 2008 and 2009, (2) comparing accelerated and non-accelerated filers, and (3) examining the impact of remediation of previously disclosed internal control problems. We find that (1) in 2008, the increase in audit report lag in the presence of material weaknesses in internal control is lower for non-accelerated filers as compared to accelerated filers, and (2) while the effect of a material internal control weakness on audit report lag is significantly lower in 2009 than in 2008 for accelerated filers, there is no such change for non-accelerated filers. We also find that for firms remediating previously disclosed internal control problems, there is a significant decline in audit report lag; yet, the remediating firms continue to have higher reporting lags than firms that had clean Section 404 opinions in both years. We also find that, at least with respect to the effect of internal control problems on audit report lag, the “small accelerated filers” (defined as those with market capitalization less than $250 million) are treated by the auditors as being (1) substantively similar to other accelerated filers, and (2) quite distinct from non-accelerated filers.

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