Corporate Reporting of Non-Financial Leading Indicators of Economic Performance and Sustainability

40 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2009 Last revised: 1 Aug 2011

See all articles by Jeffrey R. Cohen

Jeffrey R. Cohen

Boston College - Department of Accounting

Lori Holder-Webb

Western New England University - Department of Accounting and Finance

Leda Nath

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

David Wood

Boston College

Date Written: June 26, 2011

Abstract

The call for disclosure of non-financial information has grown in response to the aware-ness that financial statements omit salient information about the company (Adams et al. 2011). This study follows earlier studies of non-financial disclosures of governance and corporate social responsibility information (Holder-Webb et al. 2008, 2009) and examines the public voluntary disclosure of a set of leading indicators of economic performance and sustainability of earnings provided during 2004 by a sample of 50 publicly traded firms across five industries. The results indicate that, among the sample firms, there remains a lack of rigorous and expansive disclosure of this type of information and that considerable variability exists in disclosure practice based on both industry and size. For example, companies disclose a wide variety of non-financial information both through mandatory filings such as 10-Ks and through alternative sources such as investor promotion materials and company websites, with the most frequent types of disclosures being concerned with information pertaining to market share and innovation. We conclude by discussing the role of this study within recent developments in integrative reporting (Adams et al. 2011) and suggest that perhaps these types of disclosures should be encouraged to receive some assurance services.

Keywords: Corporate Disclosure, Non-financial Information, Leading Indicators, Competitiveness Information

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M45, M46

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Jeffrey R. and Holder-Webb, Lori and Nath, Leda and Wood, David, Corporate Reporting of Non-Financial Leading Indicators of Economic Performance and Sustainability (June 26, 2011). Accounting Horizons, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1420977

Jeffrey R. Cohen (Contact Author)

Boston College - Department of Accounting ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-3165 (Phone)
617-552-2097 (Fax)

Lori Holder-Webb

Western New England University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

United States

Leda Nath

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater ( email )

800 West Main St.
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
United States

David Wood

Boston College ( email )

55 Lee Road
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3942
United States

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