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Financial statement comparability and cash holdings: the mediating role of disclosure quality and financing constraints

Mohammadreza Mehrabanpour (Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran)
Omid Faraji (Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran)
Reza Sajadpour (Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran)
Mohammad Alipour (Department of Accounting and Management, Islamic Azad University, Khalkhal Branch, Khalkhal, Iran)

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting

ISSN: 1985-2517

Article publication date: 8 June 2020

Issue publication date: 20 August 2020

1773

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of financial statement comparability as a qualitative feature of financial reporting on cash holdings and the mediating role of disclosure quality and financing constraints in firms listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE).

Design/methodology/approach

Using panel data from 110 TSE-listed firms from 2011 to 2017 in Iran, this study uses the regression analysis to examine the research hypotheses. The first hypothesis examines the relationship between financial statements comparability and cash holdings and two other hypotheses examine the mediating role of financing constraints and disclosure quality in this relationship.

Findings

Based on pecking-order theory and institutional context of Iranian firms, the results show that financial reporting comparability has a significant negative impact on corporate cash holdings. The results also show that disclosure quality and financing constraints have no mediating role in the relationship between accounting comparability and cash holdings. The robustness tests with alternative measures of accounting comparability and cash holdings support the findings of this study.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study are as follows: limited number of TSE companies that have necessary data to conduct research; and using the disclosure quality scores provided by TSE organization.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that creditors should consider the financial status and also the quality of financial reporting of companies, before granting credit to them. It is also recommended that regulators in the capital market publish the ratings of companies in terms of financial statement comparability alongside the disclosure ratings and a continuous regulatory oversight on companies.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical research on the effect of accounting comparability on the level of cash holdings that examines the mediating role of financing constraints in the context of Iran market as an emerging economy. Moreover, this is the first empirical research that studies the effect of disclosure quality on this relationship.

Keywords

Citation

Mehrabanpour, M., Faraji, O., Sajadpour, R. and Alipour, M. (2020), "Financial statement comparability and cash holdings: the mediating role of disclosure quality and financing constraints", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 615-637. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-12-2019-0167

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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