Archival research in accounting often relies on the audit report date to capture the constructs of audit efficiency, audit timeliness, audit effort, or audit completion. Auditors' view of what constitutes sufficient appropriate evidence to support the audit opinion, and consequently the date of the audit report, previously coincided with the substantial completion of audit fieldwork, which would be days or weeks before a 10-K filing. However, this view has shifted to coincide with the timing of the public issuance of clients' financial statements (i.e., the 10-K filing date) following several regulatory actions, audit practice changes, and professional standard-setting changes occurring since the turn of the century. In this study, we present evidence of this shift in auditor perspective and discuss implications for academic research and standard setting.

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