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Has traditional accounting information lost its relevance?

Kingsley Opoku Appiah (Department of Accounting and Finance, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Owusu Acheampong (Accountant at College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology College of Science, Kumasi, Ghana)

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting

ISSN: 1985-2517

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether traditional accounting information has lost its relevance in the context of sub-Sahara Africa. Specifically, the study examines whether historical cost and inflation-adjusted data are related to the market value of equity and stock returns on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collect firm-specific data from annual reports of 20 listed firms from the GSE over the period 2007-2012. The authors use ordinary least squares and two stage least square (2SLS) to examine the value relevance of historical and inflation-adjusted income and equity.

Findings

The results suggest that the market equity is related to both historical-cost and inflation-adjusted earnings. Market return is also associated with both historical-cost and inflation-adjusted earnings and book value. Overall, the authors conclude that inflation-adjusted information content is more value relevant than the traditional cost accounting information.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are a wake-up call to policymakers and practitioners in formulating financial reporting policies. This study, however, focuses on only non-financial listed firms on the GSE. Thus, the results may not be valid for all companies in Ghana.

Practical implications

The finding has an implication on the choice of valuation used in the preparation and reporting of financial statements. Accordingly, the authors offer policy directions to financial reporting regulatory authorities to enhance the value relevance of accounting information.

Social implications

Regulators, especially the GSE may improve life of investors if the recommendations are transformed into directives that will help enhance the quality of financial reporting.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that inflation-adjusted data are more relevant in countries with extreme inflationary trend and lax International Financial Reporting Standards compliance enforcement. The results also lend support for the current cost accounting theory.

Keywords

Citation

Appiah, K.O. and Acheampong, O. (2019), "Has traditional accounting information lost its relevance?", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 554-570. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-05-2016-0037

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited