Using discretionary accruals to proxy for earnings quality, this study investigates whether and how the first voluntary internal control reporting in 2007 is associated with earnings quality in China. We find that earnings quality is higher in 2007, yet not in 2006, for public companies issuing a first-time voluntary unqualified internal control report, compared with listed firms not issuing an internal control report. Our findings are consistent with a signalling of performance explanation and inconsistent with a signalling of effectiveness explanation. We also find that earnings quality is lower for public companies issuing an internal control report mentioning a weakness, compared with public companies not issuing an internal control report. Overall, our study suggests that public companies conduct diligent self-assessments when issuing a first-time voluntary unqualified internal control report. Consequently, there is an improvement in earnings quality.
- First-time reporting
- Internal control reporting