Review of Accounting Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 227-253

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Did accelerated filing requirements and SOX Section 404 affect the timeliness of 10-K filings?

  • Joost ImpinkAffiliated withWarrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida
  • , Martien LubberinkAffiliated withLancaster University Management SchoolDNB (The Netherlands Bank)
  • , Bart van PraagAffiliated withAmsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam
  • , David VeenmanAffiliated withErasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam Email author 


This paper examines the effect of Sarbanes-Oxley provisions on 10-K filing delays. We find that tightened filing deadlines for accelerated and large accelerated filers are not associated with changes in the incidence of late filing. While Section 404 compliance does not affect filing timeliness for firms with effective internal controls, we find that about half the firms disclosing internal control weaknesses are late filers. As a consequence, many Section 404 material weakness firms experience negative abnormal returns around late filing notifications before filing the 10-K. Lastly, we find that market reactions to late filing notifications are more negative when management provides no meaningful explanation for the delay, consistent with managers’ incentives to withhold bad news.


Form 10-K Rule 12b-25 Accelerated filing SOX Section 404 Internal controls

JEL Classification

G14 G18 K22 M41