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The use of graphs in annual reports of major Italian companies


  • Giuseppe Ianniello


This paper shows the potential benefits and risks, in terms of communication, involved in the use of graphs in corporate annual reports. An empirical analysis is conducted on the year 2005 annual reports of 52 Italian listed companies with higher capitalisation. Its main findings are as follows: the vast majority of firms included in our sample use graphs in annual reports; topics graphed in the Anglo-Saxon area, such as EPS, DPS, cash flow and ROCE, are largely absent in the Italian graphical language, showing similarities with the case of Germany; evidence on the selectivity hypothesis tends in the direction expected but no significant association was found; about one-quarter of key performance indicator graphs are materially distorted; graphical alterations that are favourable to the firms are relatively more frequent than those that are unfavourable; and financial graphs exhibit slope parameters that depart materially from the optimum.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Ianniello, 2009. "The use of graphs in annual reports of major Italian companies," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(4), pages 442-462.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijaape:v:5:y:2009:i:4:p:442-462

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:infosf:v:17:y:2015:i:5:d:10.1007_s10796-014-9486-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Simone Aresu, 2015. "Graphical Reporting in Italian Annual Reports during the Financial Crisis: Impression Management or Incremental Information?," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 77-106.


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