Cherry Picking, Financial Reporting Quality, and Comprehensive Income Reporting Choices: The Case of Property-Liability Insurers
43 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2003
Date Written: April 19, 2004
Financial Accounting Standard No. 130 "Reporting Comprehensive Income" encourages enterprises to report comprehensive income on a performance statement rather than on a statement of equity. We investigate the reporting decisions of 82 publicly traded property-liability insurers, which are fairly evenly split in their choice. We find that insurers with a tendency to manage earnings through realized securities' gains and losses (i.e., cherry pickers), as well as insurers with a reputation for poor financial reporting quality, are more likely to bury comprehensive income in a statement of equity. Apparently, these insurers face the highest cost of transparency. Our findings that insurers' comprehensive income reporting choices are a reflection of their proclivity toward cherry picking as well as their level of financial reporting quality should be of interest to standard setters because of the controversy over standard setters' preference for mandating all firms to report comprehensive income in a performance statement.
JEL Classification: M41, M43, M45, G22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation