The Use Of Disclosure Indices In Internet Financial Reporting Research
The rapid growth of Internet technology has created the ability for firms to disseminate information to global audience. The revolution in information technology has paved the way to realize new tools, which may aid in different aspect to life. The most essential characteristics of the Internet are that information can be accesses at almost anytime and from anywhere. Consistent with the advancement of the Internet as a cheap but powerful communication device, disclosure of financial information on the Internet is becoming an increasingly popular subject of research. Many have investigated the extent, mode and quality of Internet Financial Reporting (IFR) over the last decade. However, most of early IFR researches are descriptive and exploratory in nature, thus unable to explain the phenomenon. Further, while many have conceded that a suitable proxy such as an index of disclosure can be used to gain insight into the sophistication of information disclosed by companies, to date, very few attempts have been made to develop such index. Of these few studies, the dimensions used to represent IFR are inconsistent among the researchers. These differences contribute to the variations in the findings and thus unable to clearly explain factors influencing the behaviour of the IFR. Therefore, this paper aims to address the issue of IFR index, by carefully reviewing existing literature relating to the topic. This issue is of particular importance to researchers since disclosure is an abstract concept that cannot be measured directly. A more comprehensive index which consists of several dimensions is hoped to assist the researchers to better explain the practices of IFR and its determinants.
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