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Meeting user information needs: The impact of major changes in FASB and GASB standards on financial reporting by colleges and universities

Mary Fischer, Teresa P. Gordon and Marla A. Kraut

Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 2010, vol. 29, issue 4, 374-399

Abstract: This longitudinal study reports the impact of changes in generally accepted accounting principles on financial statement disclosures for 100 public and private institutions of higher education. Disclosures from the period when all colleges and universities followed the same accounting standards are compared with disclosures in periods after major changes in accounting and reporting standards were made by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for private institutions and by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) for public institutions. We find that an importance-weighted disclosure index shows that user needs are better met using the new reporting standards for public but not private institutions. An expanded unweighted index, however, shows improvement for both public and private colleges and universities. Using this disclosure index, the improvement for universities reporting under GASB standards exceeded the improvement for those reporting under FASB standards.

Keywords: Financial; statement; quality; Disclosure; index; Reporting; model; changes; Standard; setting; outcomes; Colleges; and; universities; FASB; GASB (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jappol:v:29:y::i:4:p:374-399