This study examines the association between debt maturity structure and accounting conservatism. Short-maturity debt can mitigate agency costs of debt arising from information asymmetry and suboptimal investment problems inherent in debt financing. As such, debt-contracting demand for accounting conservatism is expected to be lower in the presence of more short-maturity debt. We find that short-maturity debt is negatively associated with accounting conservatism. As firms could commit to more accounting conservatism to gain access to long-maturity debt, we conduct lead-lag tests of the direction of causality, and the results suggest that more short-maturity debt leads to less conservative reporting, rather than the reverse. We also find the negative relation between short-maturity debt and accounting conservatism is more pronounced among financially distressed firms, where ex ante severity of agency costs of debt are higher. Collectively, our results contribute to our understanding of the role of accounting conservatism in debt contracting and show how debt maturity, a key and pervasive feature of creditor protection in debt contracting, affects accounting conservatism.