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Shamsul Nahar Abdullah ORCID logo


This study attempts to investigate the roles of the composition of board of directors, audit committee and the separation of the roles of the board chairman and the chief executive officer on the timeliness of reporting. The issue of reporting timeliness is important in corporate governance because it is associated with corporate transparency. It is also an important indicator of the value of the information in the financial reports. Given the fact that the board is the highest internal corporate governance system, it is predicted that the characteristics of the board and its sub-committee, namely the audit committee, are associated with the timeliness of reporting. Using Bursa Malaysia (formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange) Main Board companies data in respect of the financial years 1998 and 2000, the findings show that board independence and the separation of the roles of board chairman and CEO significantly are associated with timelier reporting. The results also indicate that the 1997 financial crisis had adversely affected the timeliness of reporting. These findings imply that during difficult periods, companies tend to take a longer time to prepare their audited financial reports. The positive association between timeliness of reporting and leverage found in this study suggests that the agency costs of debts could play an important role in explaining the timeliness of corporate financial reports. Finally, the negative relation between firm’s profitability and timeliness of reporting is supportive of information signaling theory.

Keywords: Board of Directors, Audit Committee, CEO Duality, Reporting Timeliness, Malaysia

How to cite this paper: Abdullah, S.-N. (2007). Board composition, audit committee and timeliness of corporate financial reports in Malaysia. Corporate Ownership & Control, 4(2), 33-45.