Corporate Reporting on the Internet
17 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2006
Firms' use of the Internet to enhance the relevance of their financial reporting is examined. A firm is defined as practicing Internet Financial Reporting (IFR) when it provides in its web site either: 1. a comprehensive set of financial statements, 2. a link to its annual report elsewhere on the Internet, or 3. a link to the US Security and Exchange Commission's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system. While 70% of the firms in the sample engage in IFR, substantial variation in the quality of firms' IFR practices is found. Specifically, the variations in quality pertain to the timeliness and therefore, the usefulness of firms' financial reporting on the Internet. It is found that some firms provide more timely financial disclosures via the Internet while other firms report outdated financial data. It is observed that the usefulness of firms' financial reporting on the Internet depends on how easy it is to access that data, the amount of data disclosed and/or whether users can download or analyze the data.
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