What Drives Quality of Firm Risk Disclosure?
This paper examines the impact of a detailed national disclosure standard on the quality of firms' overall risk reviews under IFRS. We use data from a sample of listed Finnish firms around the introduction of the standard and find that national regulatory bodies have been able to raise the quality of risk disclosure on several dimensions even under IFRS. We find increases in the quantity of risk disclosure with more extensive and more comprehensive information. We do not, however, find a corresponding increase in quantitative disclosures and therefore there is some question regarding the influence of the standard on the substance of the risk information provided. In addition to the coercive effect of the standard, several important reporting incentives, such as firm size, profitability, and foreign listing status are documented. We also find some evidence that the impact of the standard on quality is more pronounced among less profitable firms. Additional findings are that larger firms and firms reporting under the requirements of the SEC disclose more quantitative risk information, and that the quality improvements are permanent in the subsequent years. The findings have implications for standard-setters evaluating different strategies with the aim to increase the quality of the narratives in annual reports.
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