Title: The impact of internal control weaknesses on firms' cash policies

Authors: Mikhail Pevzner; Gregory Gaynor

Addresses: Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore, 1420 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA ' Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore, 1420 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Abstract: We study the association between firms' Section 302 and Section 404 internal control weaknesses and these firms' cash-to-cash flow sensitivities. We also examine whether the presence of the internal control weaknesses affects the relationship between firms' asset liquidity and stock liquidity. We find that the presence of Section 404 internal control weaknesses is associated with stronger cash-to-cash flow sensitivities and with weaker impact of higher asset liquidity on stock liquidity. Our results suggest that internal control weaknesses increase firms' reliance on internal, as opposed to external, financing. Also, internal control weaknesses increase uncertainty over future uses of cash, thereby reducing the positive impact of higher relative cash balances on stock liquidity. Thus, our study provides additional evidence on the potential costs of internal control weaknesses.

Keywords: cash policies; internal control weaknesses; asset liquidity; stock liquidity; cash-to-cash flow; cash balances.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2016.079865

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2016 Vol.12 No.4, pp.396 - 421

Accepted: 29 Oct 2015
Published online: 28 Sep 2016 *

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