Voluntary Fair Value Disclosures Beyond SFAS 157’s Three-level Estimates
61 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2009 Last revised: 12 May 2019
Date Written: October 1, 2016
Some firms voluntarily make disclosures about the controls and processes in place to ensure the reliability of fair value estimates. Consistent with these disclosures being driven by investors’ concerns about the reliability of their SFAS 157 estimates, we find that firms with more opaque estimates are more likely to provide such disclosures. We then examine whether these disclosures improve investors’ perception about the reliability of fair value estimates. We find that they are associated with higher market pricing and lower information risk for Level 3 estimates. Further analyses of the reliability disclosures reveal that the following types of information are particularly important to investors: discussion of the external and independent pricing of fair value estimates as well as the estimates’ proper classification according to the SFAS 157 hierarchy. Overall, our results suggest that the voluntary reliability disclosures that firms provide beyond SFAS 157’s three-level estimates help reduce investors’ uncertainty toward the more opaque fair value estimates.
Keywords: Fair value accounting, SFAS 157, voluntary disclosure, controls, information risk
JEL Classification: D82, G29, G34, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation