Evidence of voluntary accounting disclosures in the Athens Stock Market
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the motives for providing voluntary accounting disclosures and investigate the financial differences between voluntary and non-voluntary disclosers. The paper also examines the association between the provision of voluntary disclosures and earnings management. Design/methodology/approach - The study utilises logistic regressions to test the hypothetical relations set up in the study. The categorisation of firms into those that report the minimum required by law and those that provide voluntary accounting information is based on the examination of firms' financial statements. Company categorisation is based on the construction of an index similar to the disclosure index formulated by the Center for International Financial Analysis and Research. Each sample firm obtains a score, with a higher score reflecting a more significant level of disclosure. Findings - The findings show that voluntary disclosers exhibit higher profitability and growth and appear to be good news bearers. They also display a change in their management and a higher share trading volume. The results provide evidence that the provision of voluntary accounting disclosures is negatively associated with earnings management. Research limitations/implications - The study indicates that sound financial indicators and good news and prospects are likely to motivate firms to provide voluntary disclosures in order to attract investors' attention and communicate their managerial superiority or potential. Less information asymmetry and earnings management would lead to the disclosure of informative accounting information and would subsequently assist investors in making efficient decisions. Originality/value - The contribution of the study lies in the fact that Greece is a particular case because it is a “rules-based” code-law country that involves high levels of standardisation and that has adopted IFRSs that are “principles-based” and involve flexibility in financial reporting and judgment. Also, financial reporting in Greece is less restrictive in terms of disclosure requirements. The findings of the study are useful for financial analysts and investors, as they enable them to understand the financial attributes and motives of firms that provide voluntary disclosures as well as their earnings management inclination.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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