Internal control regulation remains the subject of an ongoing global debate among academics, regulators, and practitioners in terms of costs and effectiveness. This is reflected by different internal control regulations in different countries, resulting in varying management's incentives across regulatory regimes. Prior research, however, has primarily focused on the U.S. rules-based setting to study the relationship between internal control regulation and financial reporting. The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between internal control reporting and accruals quality in an alternative internal control regime based on the “comply-or-explain principle” in The Netherlands. We show that in this setting accruals quality is not associated with the description of the internal control system, while there is evidence of a positive association with an unaudited statement of effective internal controls. Further, we find that the noncompliance rate of providing a statement of effective internal controls is relatively high, and that companies give generic explanations for noncompliance or no explanation at all. Overall, insights from different internal control regulatory regimes may further advance our knowledge on internal control regulation effectiveness.

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