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COVID-19-related accounting disclosures in the financial statements: evidence from an emerging economy

Md Rezaul Karim (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Department of Accounting and Finance, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Mohammed Moin Uddin Reza (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Samia Afrin Shetu (Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Department of Tourism and Leisure, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 6 February 2024

Issue publication date: 13 February 2024

187

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore COVID-19-related accounting disclosures using sociological disclosure analysis (SDA) within the context of the developing economy of Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

COVID-19-related accounting disclosures from listed banks’ annual reports have been examined using three levels of SDA: textual, contextual and sociological interpretations. Data were gathered from the banks’ 2019 and 2020 annual reports. The study uses the legitimacy theory as its theoretical framework.

Findings

The research reveals a substantial shift in corporate disclosures due to COVID-19, marked by a significant increase from 2019 to 2020. Despite regulatory and professional directives for COVID-19-specific disclosures, notable non-compliance is evident in subsequent events, going concern, fair value, financial instruments and more. Instead of assessing the implications of COVID-19 and making disclosures, companies used positive, vague and subjective wording to legitimize non-disclosure.

Practical implications

The study’s insights can inform regulators and policymakers in crafting effective guidelines for future crisis-related reporting like COVID-19. The research adds to the literature by methodologically using SDA to explore pandemic-specific disclosures, uncovering the interplay between disclosures, legitimacy and stakeholder engagement.

Originality/value

This study represents a pioneering effort in investigating COVID-19-specific disclosures. Moreover, it uses the SDA methodology along with the legitimacy theory to analyze accounting disclosures associated with COVID-19.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments: Not applicable.

Funding: No funding to report.

Ethics approval and consent to participate: Not applicable.

Consent for publication: Not applicable.

Availability of data and materials: The data sets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions: MRK has contributed to conceptualization, research design and data analysis; MMUR contributed to writing data analysis, discussion and conclusion, whereas SAS has contributed to data collection and report writing (introduction, literature review and theoretical framework).

Citation

Karim, M.R., Reza, M.M.U. and Shetu, S.A. (2024), "COVID-19-related accounting disclosures in the financial statements: evidence from an emerging economy", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 98-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2023-0251

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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