Segment Disclosure Quantity and Quality under IFRS 8: Determinants and the Effect on Financial Analysts' Earnings Forecast Errors (formerly titled The Interplay between Segment Disclosure Quantity and Quality)
51 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2014 Last revised: 20 Nov 2016
Date Written: June 14, 2016
Focusing on segment disclosures under the management approach, we investigate managers’ choices with respect to both segment reporting quantity and quality and the usefulness of these two characteristics for financial analysts. We measure quantity as the number of segment-level line items and quality as the cross-segment variation in profitability — arguing that more managerial discretion can be exercised over quality than over quantity. We find that managers solve proprietary concerns either by deviating from the suggested line-item disclosure in the standard, or, if following standard guidance, by decreasing segment reporting quality. Moreover, financial analysts do not always understand the quality of segment disclosures, suggesting that a business-model type of standard creates difficulties even for sophisticated users. Our results inform standard setters as they start working on a disclosure framework and as they consider the business model approach to financial reporting.
Keywords: segment reporting; disclosure quality; disclosure quantity; financial reporting choices; IFRS 8
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