Voluntary Disclosure of Accounting Ratios and Firm-Specific Characteristics: The Case of GCC
Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting Volume 18 Issue 2 2020
45 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2020 Last revised: 15 Jun 2022
Date Written: January 10, 2020
This study investigates the voluntary disclosure of accounting ratios in the corporate annual reports of manufacturing firms in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and determines whether an association exists between voluntary disclosure and firm-specific characteristics namely, size, profitability, leverage, liquidity and efficiency.
A sample of 53 GCC listed manufacturing firms and 263 firm-year observations were observed over the period 2011 to 2015. A count data regression (Poisson) with incident rate ratios (IRR) was used to identify the relationship between firms’ voluntary disclosures of accounting ratios and other firm-specific characteristics.
During the period under review, the voluntary disclosure of accounting ratios provided in annual reports of GCC firms were found to be exceedingly low. On average, a GCC company discloses at most two accounting ratios in its annual reports. The results also show that the profitability ratios are the most popularly reported ones. Controlling for family board domination, the results also reveal that structure-related variables (firm size and leverage) are positively associated with accounting ratio disclosures. However, performance-related variables (profitability, liquidity and efficiency) have no significant effect on disclosures. We conclude that signaling theory as implied in the performance-related variables is not strongly supported in the GCC region.
This is the first known study to investigate the disclosure of accounting ratios and its determinants within the context of GCC. The findings of this study could be beneficial to both agents and principals in assessing the associated risks. The study provides regulators and market participants an understanding of the corporate reporting activities of manufacturing firms in the GCC and who accordingly will be able to consider associated policy implementation.
Keywords: Financial Ratio, Disclosure, GCC, firm-specific characteristics, Corporate Reporting
JEL Classification: G10, M41, M14, G14, G30, G22
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