write 750 words for each topic
Presentational Issues/ Integrated Reporting and Cutting the Clutter/ Sustainability Reporting/ Corporate Governance Reporting
Presentational Impacts on Communication Quality
Definitions of quality of information in financial statements
The importance of voluntary communication and the role of imagery and design within this
What disclosure theories may explain voluntary disclosure in financial statements?
Consider legitimacy/signalling/attribution behaviour. Also consider whether the behaviour is always conscious.
Does the voluntary communication matter? Do investors use this? Does this create subconscious priming to receive information?
What is the role of impression management? How does it work? Why do managers do this? What is the role of imagery/ paratext in impression management?
Definitions of paratext and the role of paratextual analysis in understanding messages in financial statements
How can paratext/visual imagery develop positive information about the company?
How may this compromise the information communicated by the company?
Integrated Reporting impact on Communication Quality
What is the debate around the development of voluntary and mandatory corporate reporting?
What is the debate around narrative reporting?
What is problem with corporate reporting especially narrative reporting?
(proliferation; issues with understandability; transparency, relevance, reliability; contents of narrative reporting (should CSR be included for example); ideas of IIRC)
What are the main drivers of the debate ( FRC;IIRC; Accounting Profession: Academic Community) and what do each seem to believe is the correct way forwards
What are the benefits and challenges/problems/limitations of expanding or contracting narrative disclosure?
Where should the balance be placed:
Relevance vs reliability
Front end accessible but subject to bias vs back end reliable due to audit but lacking in transparency
Is it the narrative nature of the disclosure that causes the issue and could it be regulated in any way?
Can narrative ever be trustworthy?
What is evidence that narrative is not trustworthy ( all the stuff about impression management)
What drives the information not to be trustworthy? (Legitimacy theory; signaling theory; attribution theory) and caused by asymmetry of information between shareholders and directors and the conflict of interest this creates. Is this unreliability of information always conscious?
What is role of audit in this and can it solve the problem? Could narrative be standardized? Could other ideas improve the quality of this disclosure ethics and integrity of accounts preparers in support of the principle of faithful representation and objectivity but again think about the issue with subconscious bias.
Where does Integrated reporting sit in all of this? What is their vision and agenda? What do their pilot reports and best practice reports look like? Do they answer the criticisms of the FRC and others in cutting the clutter?
What do the pilot best practice reports produced by the FRC and Financial Laboratory look like? Do these do a better job at resolving problems than integrated reports?
What do each organisation claim around their reports and do either appear to be a solution?