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The voluntary disclosure of internet financial reporting (IFR) in an emerging economy: a case of digital Bangladesh

Mohammad Nurunnabi (Senior Lecturer in Accounting at the Business School, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK)
Monirul Alam Hossain (Professor in Accounting at East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 13 January 2012



The present study seeks to paint the current state of voluntary disclosure of internet financial reporting (IFR) in Bangladesh as an example of an emerging economy and to investigate empirically some company characteristics as determinants of such practice.


Using a sample of 83 listed companies in Bangladesh in the year 2009 and the disclosure index of Deller et al., Marston, Xiao et al. and Marston and Polei and comments from the users and investors of Bangladesh, the study employs statistical analysis to investigate the association between a number of company characteristics and the extent of voluntary disclosure of IFR.


The findings revealed that only 29.12 percent (83) companies had web sites out of the 285 listed companies and only 33.34 percent (28) companies' provided financial information. Out of seven variables, only big audit firms and non‐family ownership variables were significantly associated with the levels of voluntary disclosure. Another important result revealed that despite the mandatory requirements of having audit committee in Bangladesh, the companies without the audit committee were disclosing voluntary information more and it raised the question on the lack of regulatory enforcement in Bangladesh.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this study is limited to a single country; it would be interesting to replicate this study to a group of emerging countries which have many similarities to the Bangladesh environment.


To the best of the authors' knowledge, no studies have been conducted on IFR in a South Asian emerging country, in particular Bangladesh. The study also is the first of its kind to examine the whole population of a period in any country which enhances contribution to IFR literature. Unlike the prior studies conducted in emerging countries, the study contributes not only to the present state of IFR by the listed companies in Bangladesh but also the connectivity problem between the dream and reality of the digital Bangladesh concept. The study also finds that the companies' IFR practices are not influenced by “Digital Bangladesh” concept.



Nurunnabi, M. and Alam Hossain, M. (2012), "The voluntary disclosure of internet financial reporting (IFR) in an emerging economy: a case of digital Bangladesh", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 17-42.



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