Association between corporate disclosure and information needs of company annual report users in Sri Lanka
This paper examines the extent of disclosures in company annual reports of Sri Lankan listedcompanies and the user perceptions on the importance of information disclosed in company annualreports. For this purpose, annul reports of 65 Sri Lankan listed companies were analysed using adisclosure index. Furthermore, a questionnaire survey was conducted covering seven user groups toexamine the importance they attached to various information items disclosed in company annualreports. The results of the study revealed a fairly high level of overall disclosure (69.8%) in Sri Lankancompany annual reports with 90 per cent of the sample companies disclosing 43 per cent ofinformation items examined by this study. It also showed that, in general, users have placed higherimportance on the items relating to financial status, including cash position; present and future earningsincluding cash generation; and comparative status of the company. This study also identified anapparent gap between the information needs of users and the information disclosed by companies assome information items perceived by various users as important were not disclosed by any company ordisclosed by a few companies. Since the studies done in this area in emerging markets such as SriLanka are limited, this study contributes to reducing the dearth of literature on corporate disclosure inthe emerging markets.
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