The Determinants and Valuation Effects of Classification Choice on the Statement of Cash Flows
Accounting and Business Research, Forthcoming
55 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2017
Date Written: September 29, 2017
In this paper we exploit the choice allowed by IFRS regarding the presentation of interest payments on the cash flow statement to answer two related questions: First, whether the classification choice is explained by firm reporting incentives and second, whether it is value relevant. Using a UK sample, we find that firms reporting losses, with a greater proportion of their debt stemming from public sources, with CFO-based covenants and greater increases in leverage in the year of adoption are less likely to report interest payments in cash flows from operating activities (CFOA). Results also suggest that the incentive to meet or beat analyst CFO forecasts decreases, but strong corporate governance increases the probability of including interest payments in CFOA. Based on the assumption that the decision not to classify interest payments in CFOA captures lower disclosure quality or poor future expected performance, we posit that these firms should also exhibit lower valuations. Results obtained after correcting for self-selection bias confirm this assertion. We conclude that managers’ decision not to classify interest payments in CFOA is consistent with the opportunistic use of the choice allowed by IFRS.
Keywords: IFRS, Cash flow statement, classification choice, firm reporting incentives
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