The Primacy of Numbers in Financial and Accounting Disclosures: Implications for Textual Analysis Research

34 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018

See all articles by Federico Siano

Federico Siano

Boston University - Department of Accounting

Peter D. Wysocki

Boston University Questrom School of Business

Date Written: July 31, 2018

Abstract

Numbers are central to financial and accounting disclosures, yet current textual analysis research generally ignores numbers within disclosures. We hypothesize and show that the prevalence of numbers within a corporate disclosure is highly correlated with the readability of the disclosure. More importantly, we show that prior findings on the links between disclosure readability and various economic outcomes are explained by the prevalence of numbers within the disclosures. We discuss implications for past and future research that attempts to analyze the determinants, attributes and outcomes of financial and accounting disclosures.

Keywords: Analyst Following, Disclosure, Quantitative Information, Readability, Textual Analysis

JEL Classification: D83, G14, M40, M41

Suggested Citation

Siano, Federico and Wysocki, Peter D., The Primacy of Numbers in Financial and Accounting Disclosures: Implications for Textual Analysis Research (July 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3223757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3223757

Federico Siano

Boston University - Department of Accounting ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Peter D. Wysocki (Contact Author)

Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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