The usefulness of accounting information; evidence from the Egyptian market

Omaima Hassan (Department of Economic and Finance, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University, London, UK)
David M. Power (School of Accounting & Finance, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Publication date: 2 October 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain financial analysts' views regarding the usefulness of a number of items of accounting information via a postal survey. This usefulness is explored in the context of the Egyptian capital market. In addition the usefulness of different types of information is researched, namely: historical vs forward‐looking information; mandatory vs voluntary information; and quantitative vs non‐quantitative information.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses descriptive analysis to investigate the views of a sample of 23 financial analysts regarding a number of items of accounting information. Analysts' ratings are obtained via a postal questionnaire, most of which are collected by hand. Fifteen out of 23 responses are collected in person, which offer the opportunity to ask follow‐up questions about the information which the analysts see as valuable.

Findings

The findings indicate that different items of information are valued differently. In the context of the Egyptian market, financial analysts tend to value: mandatory disclosure more than voluntary disclosure; quantitative information more than non‐quantitative information; and historic information more than forward‐looking information. This type of preference reflects the information environment in Egypt, where mandatory disclosure is comprehensive and detailed based on International Accounting Standards but where compliance is an issue. Voluntary disclosure is limited and other sources of information are less common. Since mandatory information in Egypt tends to be historic and quantitative in nature, this may explain the preference for these types of disclosures.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that the importance of different types of information may be affected by the degree of maturity of the market and how rich the information environment is.

Practical implications

The results should be useful in informing companies and market regulators about the types of information that financial analysts find useful for investment decision making and the areas of disclosure where financial analysts suggest that improvement is needed.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by investigating the views of a sample of financial analysts regarding the usefulness of accounting information and different types of disclosure in the context of an emerging capital market where a dearth of studies exist.

Keywords

Citation

Hassan, O. and Power, D. (2009), "The usefulness of accounting information; evidence from the Egyptian market", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 125-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/17554170910997393

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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