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Corporate governance and the timeliness of audited financial statements: The case of Kenyan listed firms

David Mutua Mathuva (Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya)
Venancio Tauringana (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Fredrick J. Otieno Owino (Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya)

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2042-1168

Article publication date: 29 July 2019

Issue publication date: 15 October 2019




The nature of corporate governance (CG) mechanisms in an entity may influence the timeliness of the audited annual report. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the “quality” of CG in a firm has a significant association with the time it takes the audited annual report and financial statements to be released.


Using a set of 543 firm-year observations over the period 2007–2016, the authors examine whether a validated CG-Index is associated with audit report delay (ARD). The authors employ both granular as well as aggregated approaches to the analyses. In addition, the authors include control variables known to have an association with ARD in the panel data regressions.


The findings, which are robust for self-selection among other checks, reveal that financial expertise in the audit committee, board size, board meetings and independence in the board are associated with longer ARDs. Some CG attributes such as board diversity (i.e. women and different nationalities in the board) are associated with improved timeliness of the annual reports. The results also reveal that a longer tenure for independent directors in the board is associated with a shorter ARD. Overall, the authors find that the composite CG score has a positive influence on the timeliness of annual reports.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on listed companies in one developing country. Additional studies focusing on other jurisdictions could yield more results.

Practical implications

The study is useful in highlighting those CG characteristics firms should focus on toward the attainment of timely corporate reporting to aid in decision making by users.


The study is unique since it emphasizes the importance of focusing on an aggregate CG-Index, and the contribution of the CG-Index toward the timeliness of annual reports.



The usual disclaimer applies. The authors are grateful for the incisive, useful and value-adding feedback provided by the two anonymous reviewers which resulted into a substantial revision of the paper. The authors also thank the Associate Editor, Professor Musa Mangena for his useful insights on the paper. The authors are grateful to the members of Strathmore Accounting Research Group who provided useful comments.


Mathuva, D.M., Tauringana, V. and Owino, F.J.O. (2019), "Corporate governance and the timeliness of audited financial statements: The case of Kenyan listed firms", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 473-501.



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