The Environmental Reporting Expectations Gap: Australian Evidence

Posted: 6 Mar 2000

See all articles by Craig Deegan

Craig Deegan

University of Southern Queensland

Michaela Rankin

Monash University


Recent research of corporate reporting practices has suggested that corporate environmental reporting within Australia, and a number of other countries, is typically deficient and not of a standard to satisfy the information needs of various classes of report readers. This paper explores whether a potential information demand/supply imbalance is due to differing perceptions between report users and report preparers as to the relative importance of various items of environmental performance information to the users? decision making processes. The paper explores whether an environmental reporting ?expectations gap? exists within Australia. The study sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, surveyed the attitudes of senior executives within 462 of the largest companies within Australia (the preparers group), as well as the attitudes of 474 individuals from various categories of annual report users. In comparing the responses, significant differences between the views of users and the preparers were found to exist in relation to various issues associated with corporate environmental performance reporting. The evidence is consistent with the existence of an environmental reporting expectations gap within Australia.

JEL Classification: M41, M45

Suggested Citation

Deegan, Craig and Rankin, Michaela, The Environmental Reporting Expectations Gap: Australian Evidence. Available at SSRN:

Craig Deegan (Contact Author)

University of Southern Queensland ( email )

Faculty of Commerce
Toowoomba 4350, Queensland
+61 7 4631 1528 (Phone)

Michaela Rankin

Monash University ( email )

23 Innovation Walk
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800

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