Oes increased disclosure of non-financial measures lead to economic benefit?
The tendency of business corporates to focus their financial reports disclosures on financial performance, and the failure to address other aspects of corporate performance (i.e. non-financial performance disclosures) might be something of a concern to governments and investors. This is because accounting research studies indicate that non-financial information about corporate governance, social and environmental impact,affects management behaviour and investment decisions (for example, see Cohen, Holder-Webb, Nath and Wood, 2012)*. One way of dealing with this concern is through regulating corporate reporting (Bushman and Landsman, 2010)^. Therefore, governments may decide to introduce legislations that will require corporations to provide such information.
(a)Critically discuss the rationale for the government introducing specific disclosure legislations.
(b)Explain who will benefit, in the long run, from the (i) corporate governance, (ii) social and (iii) environmental impact disclosure legislations.
(c)Critically assess the prospects of increased corporate accountability in matters of governance, society and the environment as a result of introducing the disclosure legislations in (b).
In addressing the essay requirements (a), (b) and (c), you are expected to use the three main theories of corporate disclosure regulation, which are public interest theory, private interest theory and capture interest theory. In addition, you are required to support your discussion and arguments, explanation and assessment, with evidence from published research studies.
6 Quality indicators:
1)Addresses the task/question set
2)Shows understanding of theory/concepts
3)Clearly presented rigorously argued and focused analysis
4)Well structured, with appropriate introduction and conclusions
5)Shows independent thinking
6)Supports argument with clear and effective examples /evidence
1)Cohen, J.R., Holder-Webb, L.L., Nath, L. and Wood, D. (2012), a?Corporate reporting of non-financial leading indicators of economic performance and sustainabilitya, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 65-90.
2)Bushman, R. and Landsman, W. (2010), a?The pros and cons of regulating corporate reporting: A critical review of the argumentsa, Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 259-273