Identifier

etd-06032014-123906

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Accounting

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Over the past several decades, accounting standard setters have been gradually shifting financial reporting toward an asset/liability view, by rewriting the underlying conceptual framework and issuing accounting standards that reflect this view. The asset/liability view enhances comparability of a firm’s investment base to that of its peers, and thus enhances the comparability of a firm’s return of equity (ROE). This, in turn, increases the transparency with which firm-specific performance differs from its peers. Greater transparency would be expected to improve predictive usefulness, but would also place greater pressure on a firm to meet the performance of its peers. In the US, I find that predictive usefulness has generally increased with the shift, indicating that rather than resulting in greater earnings management designed to mask firm-specific differences, the shift resulted in greater transparency of firm-specific accounting information. I also find predictive usefulness has increased in countries that have adopted IFRS, indicating that a further shift toward an asset/liability view to include the greater use of fair values common in IFRS further increased transparency of firm-specific accounting information in adopting countries. This suggests that expanding the use of fair values and/or adopting IFRS in the US may also result in greater reporting transparency. But as the predictive usefulness increases, I find that analysts in the US are not increasing their reliance on firm-specific accounting information, suggesting analysts remain skeptical, even though analysts would likely increase the efficiency in which they form their forecasts by relying more on accounting information.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Tiras, Samuel

Included in

Accounting Commons

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