The impact of the management approach on segment reporting

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 2015, 42 (3-4), pp. 310 - 366
Issue Date:
2015-01-01
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© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Accounting standard setters have increasingly attempted to align external segment reporting disclosures to a firm's internal reporting structure. We study how this move to the management approach for segment reporting impacted the number of reported segments and the extent of line item disclosures when Australia adopted IAS 14 (revised) and IFRS 8. We find that both standards led to firms disclosing a greater number of segments. An examination of the motives behind the non-disclosure of segments suggests that segment information was withheld for agency cost reasons. We find only limited support for the proprietary cost motive for non-reporting of segments. We also document that IFRS 8 led to a reduction in the amount of line item disclosure. Consistent with a proprietary cost explanation, the decrease in disclosure is greatest for firms with a higher number of profitable segments. Our results indicate that the change to the management approach to segment identification is not associated with the properties of analyst forecasts, nor did it lead to increased analyst following.
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