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Segment Reporting under IFRS 8

Reporting practice and economic consequences

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Martin Nienhaus

The adoption of IFRS 8 marked a major change in the segment reporting rules under IFRS. This step, however, was heavily criticized and several questions regarding IFRS 8 still remain unanswered. Therefore, this study analyzes the impact of IFRS 8 on segment reporting practice and its economic consequences. The results show that firms report on average more segment information. Moreover, segment reports from the management’s perspective are useful and mitigate information asymmetries, reduce the cost of capital and affect the work of financial analysts. The findings have implications for the IASB, preparers, auditors and users of financial statements as well as enforcement institutions.
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5. Analysis of segment reporting practice

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5Analysis of segment reporting practice

In the following, the descriptive analysis of segment reporting before and after the adoption of IFRS 8 is presented. Section 5.1 describes the methodological approach and the sample selection process. Section 5.2 presents the results organized along the five dimensions: general information, segmentation, measurement, disclosures and reconciliation.49 The findings are discussed in section 5.3.

5.1Methodological approach

5.1.1Content analysis

5.1.1.1Development of the catalogue

This study employs a content analysis to systematically capture the differences in segment reporting practice between IFRS 8 and IAS 14R. The content analysis is an empirical tool which is frequently used in accounting research.50 It helps researchers to describe accounting practice in a structured way. Berelson (1971) defines it as follows:

“Content analysis is a research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication.”

(Berelson (1971), p. 18)

This definition entails three criteria that constitute desirable characteristics of a content analysis: objectivity, systematization and quantification.51 Objectivity means that different researchers would generate the same findings based on the same content analysis catalogue (Kassarjian (1977), p. 9). Moreover, there should be systematization in the choice of items analyzed in the catalogue. This means that the inclusion or exclusion of items should be done according to a consistent set of rules (Holsti (1969), p. 4). Finally, the items should be quantifiable to allow statistical analysis and testing (Kassarjian (1977), pp. 9–10)...

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