Title: The impact of accounting regulations on annual report length

Authors: Hayden Symes; Umesh Sharma; Howard Davey

Addresses: Department of Accounting, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, PB3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand ' Department of Accounting, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, PB3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand ' Department of Accounting, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, PB3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify changes in organisations annual reports over the last 15 years. During this time period, annual reports have developed and grown considerably in length. The study provides a summary of existing literature on annual reports including the history, legislative changes and modern accounting practices. Data is collected from the largest 20 organisations in the USA based on market capitalisation. Data is analysed with a 'tick sheet' compromised from common inclusions within annual reports. Each organisation is given a score from these tick sheets for every annual report they released during the research period. These results confirmed that annual reports are indeed getting longer in length but are also becoming more comprehensive and inclusive. However, the emphasis of these reports is no longer simply on the financial information they include, but a lot more is on the non-financial reporting.

Keywords: annual report; accounting; USA; non-financial reporting; content analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEA.2017.092278

International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 2017 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.275 - 302

Received: 15 Aug 2017
Accepted: 16 Feb 2018

Published online: 29 May 2018 *

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