Accounting Research on Private Firms: State of the Art and Future Directions
Forthcoming, The International Journal of Accounting
Posted: 24 Apr 2019
Date Written: November 28, 2018
Private companies play a significant role and are the main growth engine of the global economy. Yet, till recently empirical research in accounting has focused primarily on public companies. Over the last few years, we have observed a change in trend. Accounting scholars have started researching private firms and contributed to a better understanding of their accounting decisions. This growing attention is likely due to a better availability of public data and to the fact that several regulators issued specific regulations on private firms financial reporting.
In this paper, we analyze the state of the art of accounting research in this area. We review 95 papers published in 21 accounting journals over the period 1986-2018. After looking into the definition of private firms, we highlight the role of the private firm status in the research design, classify each paper into four main research areas (i.e. financial accounting, taxation, auditing and valuation) and discuss the main contributions.
We argue that the current state of accounting research on private firms – although quite rich – is still insufficient in light of the relevance of such a segment of the world economy. After soliciting additional research, we devise possible venues for future studies.
Keywords: Private Companies, Private Firms
JEL Classification: M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation