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Assessing quality of financial reporting through audit reports: the case of Greek municipalities

Sandra Cohen and Nikolaos Kaimenakis

Global Business and Economics Review, 2011, vol. 13, issue 3/4, 187-203

Abstract: In this paper, we examine the level of information quality obtained by the end-of-the-year accrual financial statements of Greek municipalities in terms of accounting principles compliance. The level of compliance is measured by two alternative compliance indices developed on the basis of data retrieved by auditors' reports. Our results indicate that there is room for improvement in relation to the quality of the information content of municipalities'financial reports. Additionally, variables that relate to the auditor size as well as to the municipality size, wealth and experience in accrual accounting were found to exhibit an influential role on the quality of the accounting information provided to stakeholders through end-of-the-year financial statements in terms of accounting standards compliance. The paper attempts to assess whether the introduction of accrual accounting in a public sector setting succeeded in producing the expected quality of accounting information in practice via analysing compliance with accounting standards.

Keywords: public sector; accrual accounting; compliance indices; audit reports; financial reporting; municipalities; Greece; local government; quality assessment; information quality; end-of-the-year statements; accrual statements; financial statements; compliance levels; auditors; information content; financial reports; variables; auditor size; municipality size; stakeholders; wealth; experience; economics; finance; accounting standards. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ids:gbusec:v:13:y:2011:i:3/4:p:187-203