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Is internet reporting useful? Evidence from Egypt

Ahmed H. Ahmed, Ghassan H. Mardini, Bruce M. Burton and Theresa M. Dunne

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 2018, vol. 19, issue 4, 574-591

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the views of 18 users and preparers regarding the corporate internet reporting (CIR) practices of companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX). Design/methodology/approach - A decision-usefulness theoretical framework is used as a lens for the study, in order to shed light on: internet infrastructure and its use for disclosure purposes in Egypt; the benefits of and trends in practices relating to CIR in Egypt; how the information presented accords with the qualitative characteristics of “usefulness” set out in the IASB’s conceptual framework of 2010; and the potential economic consequences of CIR. Findings - The results indicate reasonable satisfaction with internet infrastructure in Egypt. The interviewees are intensive users of the internet, including accessing electronic sources of corporate information, but the perception remains of hard copy financial reports as the most important source of disclosure. With the exception of verifiability, the majority of respondents viewed CIR as having a (potentially) positive impact on the qualitative characteristics of accounting information as set out in the IASB framework. Research limitations/implications - The use of the interview method is subject to some limitations. These include: the perceived lack of anonymity, which may restrict the extent to which participants speak honestly or openly about the topic being investigated; the non-standardisation of responses – which can result in the inability to make systematic generalisations; and interviewees’ perceptions being influenced by events which have taken place prior to the discussion. Practical implications - This research provides substantive insights for policy makers about the current attitudes of interested parties concerning CIR in Egypt. Originality/value - This study contributes to our knowledge in a number of ways, as it provides up-to-date evidence of interested parties’ views concerning CIR practices and it indicates how CIR has affected the quality of financial information disclosure practices. Moreover, this study extends prior research on the use of the internet as a disclosure channel by considering a different empirical site, namely Egypt, and also by adopting a different theoretical framework.

Keywords: Financial reporting; Egypt; Corporate internet reporting; Qualitative characteristics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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