• Audit committee independence;
  • disclosure choice;
  • financial statement notes;
  • MD&A;
  • financial distress

This study examines the relation between audit committee independence and disclosure choice for financially distressed US firms. The tenor of both the financial statement notes and Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) is considered. For firms experiencing financial distress, there is a significant positive relation between the percentage of affiliated directors on the audit committee and the optimism of the going-concern discussion in both the notes and the MD&A. These results add to the growing body of literature documenting a relation between audit committee independence and financial reporting quality.