What makes accounting information timely?
2016 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 12, no 2, 189-215 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and analyse how the concept of timely accounting information can be understood as the interplay between material and social elements, to provide a basis for theorising timeliness in the context of managerial work. Design/methodology/approach - Using an enactment perspective, this paper rests upon the assumption that timeliness is not a uniform information quality mainly dependent on the accounting artefact, but something that is also shaped in managerial action. The paper builds on a qualitative study of a construction firm. Findings - Three types of enactments are illustrated: affordable-speed, right-time and instantly-actionable, showing how timeliness is not only determined by the accounting artefact but also by management style, organisational values and routines and managers' previous experiences of technology. With regards to the artefact, the paper identifies a number of material aspects that contribute to timeliness, such as system interfaces and presentation of data. The enactment of timeliness is largely characterised by virtues of efficiency and control rather than by opportunity seeking. Research limitations/implications - The research design limits the generalisability. However, insights into the elements involved in managers' understanding of timeliness provide a basis for further micro-level studies of timeliness. Practical implications - With a multifaceted vocabulary of what timeliness means, organisations can more precisely define wherein a timeliness-related problem lies. Originality/value - In comparison to previous studies, this paper provides a more contextual and nuanced understanding of timeliness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 12, no 2, 189-215 p.
Information systems; Accounting information; Managers; Materiality; Enactment; Timeliness
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-289957DOI: 10.1108/QRAM-03-2014-0019ISI: 000381934100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-289957DiVA: diva2:925061