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The effect of firm characteristics on disclosures: A Swedish context
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine the quality of the disclosure IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements, paragraphs 122 and 125 in the annual reports of Swedish publicly listed firms. These paragraphs state that firms are required to disclose judgments made by management in preparing financial statements that may have significant impact on the recognized carrying amount. These paragraphs should also include information about major sources of estimation uncertainty.

A quantitative research approach is used and the sample consists of 1,519 annual reports over a 7-year period. We construct a disclosure index to assess the quality of the disclosures in Critical judgements and key sources of estimation uncertainty (IAS 1:122 and 1:125) note and categorize the annual reports into four index groups. Additionally, the number of headlines in the note are counted and sorted into three other groups, creating a headline index. Lastly, we multiply the disclosure index with the headline index to get a score, which then enable us to distinguish and rank the quality of disclosure between firms. Further, we count the number of words in each individual disclosure in each annual report. This additional quantitative data enable regression analyses, further ensuring objectivity in assessing the disclosure quality.

Agency theory and political cost theory are used as base for determining which firm characteristics may affect disclosure quality. We examine the firm characteristics firm visibility, ownership concentration and leverage to investigate any relationship with disclosure quality. We use the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression method to analyse this data. The analysis shows that firm visibility and leverage have positive relationships with disclosure quality. This supports the political cost theory and suggests that firms that are more visible have stronger incentives to attain a high disclosure quality. Our findings also support debt-associated agency problems and are also in line with prior studies that found a positive relationship between disclosure quality and the degree of leverage, which indicates that disclosures reduces the information gap. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
IAS 1, IAS 1:122, IAS 1:125, disclosure quality, critical judgments
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258802OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-258802DiVA: diva2:842489
Subject / course
Business Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Accounting, Auditing and Analysis
Available from: 2015-08-18 Created: 2015-07-20 Last updated: 2015-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Åhman, ElisabethLundberg, Fredrik
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