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The dissemination of firm information via company register websites: Country-level empirical evidence

Devrimi Kaya (Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany)
Andreas Seebeck (Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg,Erlangen, Germany)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 5 June 2019

Issue publication date: 22 October 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cross-country determinants of the extent of firm information disseminated via company register (CR) websites.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop an index model (CR score) designed to capture the extent of regulated firm information disseminated via CR websites. The proposed index is applied to a unique sample of 137 countries. Following prior literature, the proposed index covers three dimensions: data availability, data accessibility and data serviceability. The index composition and the URLs of the CR websites are provided as an exhibit to this paper.

Findings

Across a variety of tests and sample compositions, the authors find consistent evidence that countries with a relatively high level of internet penetration, those that facilitate cross-border trading and those with higher governance quality show higher CR scores. The results are generally in line with theories of regulation.

Practical implications

The results of this paper speak directly to the current regulatory initiatives which aim to foster information acquisition and processing via company registers.

Originality/value

The authors provide early empirical evidence on the cross-country variation of dissemination of firm information via CR websites for a unique sample of 137 countries. Investors, analysts and other users of financial statements should be aware of the underlying factors that influence the extent and accessibility of firm information.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the participants at the 2017 Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference, workshop participants at Ruhr University Bochum, the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, as well as two anonymous reviewers, Dominik Ditter and Klaus Henselmann, for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Citation

Kaya, D. and Seebeck, A. (2019), "The dissemination of firm information via company register websites: Country-level empirical evidence", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 382-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-03-2018-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited