Clarification or Confusion: A Textual Analysis of ASC 842 Lease Transition Disclosures

Forthcoming in European Accounting Review

66 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2022 Last revised: 5 Aug 2023

See all articles by Luminita Enache

Luminita Enache

University of Calgary

Paul A. Griffin

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Rucsandra Moldovan

John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

Date Written: August 1, 2023

Abstract

We apply latent Dirichlet allocation to examine the textual characteristics of firms’ transition disclosures in the context of the adoption of Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 842 on leases. We find that firms’ lease transition disclosures become less readable and more dissimilar the closer to adoption. This occurs because the disclosures entail more use of technical and complex words and less use of simplifying descriptive language to communicate the transition. Consistent with these different textual characteristics, we also find that it is the technical component of the lease transition disclosures that reduces the timeliness of analyst forecast revisions and increases market-related information uncertainty. These economic outcomes support the view that the transition disclosures for ASC 842 favor those investors most able to benefit from technical information over those who may prefer the use of more straightforward language to describe the transition.

Keywords: ASC 842, latent Dirichlet allocation, new lease standard, transition disclosures, technical language

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Enache, Luminita and Griffin, Paul A. and Moldovan, Rucsandra, Clarification or Confusion: A Textual Analysis of ASC 842 Lease Transition Disclosures (August 1, 2023). Forthcoming in European Accounting Review, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4169291 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4169291

Luminita Enache

University of Calgary ( email )

Calgary, Alberta
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://haskayne.ucalgary.ca/haskayne_info/profiles/luminita-enache

Paul A. Griffin

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

3102 Gallahger Hall
Davis, CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-7372 (Phone)
(425) 799-4143 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gsm.ucdavis.edu/griffin/

Rucsandra Moldovan (Contact Author)

John Molson School of Business, Concordia University ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8
Canada
+1-514-848-2424 ext 2528 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.concordia.ca/jmsb/faculty/rucsandra-moldovan.html

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