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Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2014

Charles W. Swenson

A number of states have recently either adopted, or have considered adopting, combined reporting accounting for state income tax purposes. Proponents claim that this…

Abstract

Purpose

A number of states have recently either adopted, or have considered adopting, combined reporting accounting for state income tax purposes. Proponents claim that this policy increases state revenues by obviating certain tax panning techniques, while critics claim this policy causes firms to avoid locating in a state, or to downsize. There has been mixed empirical evidence to support either position. The purpose of this paper is to provide more convincing empirical evidence, which is enabled by a new dataset.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses regression analysis and a new dataset available through Dun & Bradstreet. The analysis employs a firm-specific, difference-in-differences design which controls for trends and specifically identifies multistate firms which might be affected by combined reporting. Specifically, the study examines the economic impacts of the recent adoption of combined reporting by four states in terms of sales and employment changes, moves, births, and deaths. The theoretical scope of the paper uses the economics literature on location choice, combined with traditional tax optimization concepts from the accounting and economics literature.

Findings

The results suggest that combined reporting does in fact reduce investment in a state in terms of employment and births, deaths, and moves, and this effect is largest for in-state-based firms. From a policy perspective, this may imply that (ceteris paribus) there is an incentive for firms to move their headquarters/major operations out of combined reporting states and into separate reporting states. Given the recent trend for states to adopt combined reporting, the findings may be important. While imposition of combined reporting may increase state tax revenues, states should also consider that such policies may hurt locally based firms and reduce employment, much more so than for out-of-state-based firms. While firms’ location/expansion decisions are clearly also a function of nontax factors, the results here are broadly consistent with literature reviews which conclude that state business taxes do have an impact on business decision-making.

Originality/value

In addition to contributing to the literature on the economic effects of combined reporting for state income tax purposes, this study also introduces the tax research community to a newly available dataset from Dun and Bradstreet that contains precise locational firm and establishment data for public and private firms, as well as data on births, deaths, and moves. The data allows clear identification of firms that are multistate, as well as affiliate information (including exact name and location of parent); type of legal entity; employment; sales; CEO minority information; government contract data; import/export status; foreign ownership; credit data from D&B and Paydex; and other useful data.

Details

Advances in Taxation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-120-6

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Andre Prinsloo and Warren Maroun

This research complements the corporate reporting literature by exploring the different types of assurance, which companies are using to bolster the credibility of their…

Abstract

Purpose

This research complements the corporate reporting literature by exploring the different types of assurance, which companies are using to bolster the credibility of their integrated and sustainability reports. A composite quality measure is proposed and this study aims to provide evidence on how combined assurance quality (CAQ) varies among firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis is used to identify “elements” of combined assurance disclosed in integrated and sustainability reports and company webpages. Results are presented in tabular format and supported by non-parametric tests to evaluate differences in CAQ among firms in more detail.

Findings

Combined assurance is framed as a function of the responsibility of the board of directors to ensure accurate, complete and reliable reporting and the characteristics of different internal and external sources of assurance. Overall, combined assurance models are being designed conservatively. They focus mainly on specific disclosures and are guided by a limited number of assurance methodologies or frameworks instead of taking a more pluralistic approach to verification of integrated and sustainability reports as a whole.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on combined assurance practices by a sample of large listed companies in a single jurisdiction. An international comparison of combined assurance and the calibration of the proposed quality measure is deferred for future research.

Practical implications

Limitations in existing assurance practices are identified for the consideration of preparers and assurance providers. The quality schematic also offers practitioners, standard-setters and academics an easy-to-apply technique for examining the different elements of a company’s combined assurance model.

Social implications

A better understanding of the quality of combined assurance is essential for users’ to place reliance on integrated and sustainability reports and for informing change to existing assurance practices.

Originality/value

The study is the first to examine the operation and quality of combined assurance. The method used to gauge assurance quality provides a useful basis for a more detailed empirical study on the relevance of combined assurance.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2014

Rebekah D. Moore and Donald Bruce

We examine whether variations in the most fundamental aspects of state corporate income tax regimes affect state economic activity as measured by personal income, gross…

Abstract

We examine whether variations in the most fundamental aspects of state corporate income tax regimes affect state economic activity as measured by personal income, gross state product, and total non-farm employment. We focus on a variety of statutory components of state corporate income taxes that apply broadly in most U.S. states and for most multi-state corporate taxpayers. Our econometric strategy consists of a series of fixed effects panel regressions using state-level data from 1996 through 2010. Our results reveal important interaction effects of tax rates and policies, suggesting that policy makers should avoid making decisions about tax rates in isolation. The results demonstrate a relatively consistent negative economic response to the combination of high tax rates with throwback rules and heavy sales factor weights. Combined reporting has no discernible effect on personal income, GSP, or employment after controlling for tax rates, apportionment, and throwback rules. In an effort to gauge the relative impacts of tax policies on the location of economic activity, we also estimate alternative models in which each state’s economic activity is measured as a share of the national economic activity in each year. Statistically significant effects for tax rates, apportionment formulas, and throwback rules in the shares models suggest that at least some of their impact involves the movement of activity across state lines, thereby leaving open the possibility of a zero-sum game among the states.

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Loïc Decaux and Gerrit Sarens

– This purpose of this paper is to investigate how to implement a combined assurance program.

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to investigate how to implement a combined assurance program.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses qualitative data obtained through semi-structured interviews with six multinationals at different stages of combined assurance implementation maturity.

Findings

The paper finds that organizations are still learning through combined assurance implementation because no organization seems to have attained a mature combined assurance program. Nevertheless, our descriptive findings reveal that a successful combined assurance implementation follows six important components.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this study is that, as the organizations studied are at different stages of combined assurance program implementation, data may have comparability issues. Another limitation is that different interviewees were studied from one case to another.

Practical implications

The results have implications both for organizations that do not yet have a combined assurance program in place and for those currently at the implementation stage. It has also implications for chief audit executives who are good candidates to lead a combined assurance implementation and for regulators, as the study describes combined assurance as an important accountability mechanism that helps boards and audit committees exercise their oversight role properly.

Originality/value

The study is the first to address combined assurance implementation. It complements the study of the Institute of Internal Auditors UK and Ireland (2010), which identifies the reasons for failed attempts to coordinate assurance activities, by illustrating combined assurance implementation through six international case studies of organizations at different combined assurance implementation stages.

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Ahsan Habib

The purpose of this paper is to provide a meta‐analysis of the effect of: auditor and audit‐related variables; and firm‐specific variables on auditors' propensity to issue…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a meta‐analysis of the effect of: auditor and audit‐related variables; and firm‐specific variables on auditors' propensity to issue modified audit opinions. Auditor and audit‐related variables include Big N affiliation, audit firm industry specialization, audit firm and audit partner tenure, provision of non audit services and audit report lag. Some of the important firm‐specific variables include firm size, leverage, and profitability.

Design/methodology/approach

The Stouffer combined test is employed as the meta‐analysis technique for this paper. The test produces a z‐statistic that can be used to test the direction and significance of the effect of the hypothesized variables on the propensity of auditors to issue modified audit opinions. A total of 73 published studies are aggregated from 1982 to 2011.

Findings

Meta‐analysis result reveals that the effect of audit and auditor‐related variables on audit opinion decisions is far from conclusive. Big N affiliation and audit report lag variables are found to be positively related while the association between non‐audit fees and modified audit opinion decisions is negative. However, the significant effect of non‐audit fee variable is found only in non US studies. Evidence on the effect of firm‐specific variables on auditors' propensity to issue modified audit opinions is broadly consistent with hypotheses formulated in the published studies.

Practical implications

Meta‐analysis statistically aggregates results across individual studies and corrects for statistical artefacts like sampling and measurement error and, thereby, provides much greater precision with respect to the findings, compared with narrative reviews. The findings should be relevant for the current project on audit reporting initiated by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

Originality/value

Audit opinion formulation is a complex procedure that culminates in the issuance of appropriate audit opinions. This paper adds value to the strand of audit opinion formulation research by documenting that some of the variables are more significant in explaining auditors' modified audit opinion decisions compared to other variables.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Book part
Publication date: 12 March 2020

Sergio Paternostro

There are still many different theoretical approaches and practical interpretations about what an integrated report is. Starting from this premise, the overall purpose of…

Abstract

There are still many different theoretical approaches and practical interpretations about what an integrated report is. Starting from this premise, the overall purpose of this chapter is to critically analyze the relationship between integrated reporting (IR) and social/sustainability disclosure. Indeed, although some scholars considered IR as a tool to improve the sustainability approach of the companies allowing to disclose more relevant social information, others are more critical about the potentiality of IR to improve social disclosure. Therefore, the general research question is: Is there a natural link between IR and social disclosure (true love) or is the IR a practice to “normalize” the social disclosure and accounting (forced marriage)?

In the attempt to provide a preliminary answer to the research question, the chapter analyzes what is the approach of three categories: (1) academics; (2) soft-regulators; and (3) companies. From the methodological point of view, a mixed method of analysis has been adopted.

From the analysis of the three different points of view, IR can be considered as a “contested concept” because of the heterogeneous and sometimes conflicting interpretations and implementation that are done on this type of report. This leads to relevant theoretical and practical implications.

Details

Non-Financial Disclosure and Integrated Reporting: Practices and Critical Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-964-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

C.J. de Villiers and D.S. Lubbe

Previous research has revealed industry differences in respect of environmental reporting in South Africa. However, these studies concentrated on particular types of…

Abstract

Previous research has revealed industry differences in respect of environmental reporting in South Africa. However, these studies concentrated on particular types of environmental reporting and therefore precluded many other types of environmental reporting in the annual reports surveyed. Past surveys also awarded equal credit to any reference to a particular type of environmental information, whether it comprised a single sentence or several pages. The annual reports of the top 100 companies, in terms of market capitalisation, were analysed and a sentence count of environmental disclosure was done with the use of the Hackston & Milne (1996) methodology. The group of energy companies was defined as comprising companies in energy‐intensive industries or companies that are producers of energy carriers. The survey revealed that these companies disclosed significantly more environmental information than other companies, in total and in each category These findings are consistent with the notion of legitimacy, which holds that companies cannot prosper if their aims and methods are not perceived to be in line with that of society. For this reason, companies that have the most obvious environmental impact tend to disclose more environmental information than other companies in an effort to legitimise their aims and methods in the eyes of society.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2020

Abeer Hassan, Ahmed A. Elamer, Mary Fletcher and Nawreen Sobhan

This paper aims to investigate the supply and demand side of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the supply and demand side of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on signalling theory, a logistic regression model is used for a sample of 100 of the largest Bangladeshi companies to study the relationships between assurance, sustainability disclosure, industry membership and reporting format.

Findings

Authors’ results show that companies which produce more sustainability information are more likely to get their sustainability assured, to be from non-carbon intensive industries, and are more likely to integrate their sustainability information with the financial annual reports. Authors’ results support the argument that organisations based in weaker legal environments are more likely to secure assurance as this adds to the credibility and reliability of sustainability reports.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has limitations which raise some issues for future research. First, the authors have covered only large companies; therefore, future research could examine the differences between small and large companies in relation to assurance. Secondly, the authors’ data consist of company sustainability disclosure information in the fiscal year 2015. Longitudinal studies are recommended to extend this research. Finally, future research could examine the moderating effects of geographical location on the relationship between assurance (and its providers) and other variables.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper will prove valuable to practitioners and researchers. Practitioners, including assurance providers and sustainability reporting managers will benefit from authors’ study as it covers both the demand and supply side characteristics of assurance. Researchers will benefit from the study as it investigates assurance practices in the developing country of Bangladesh.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine both the supply and demand sides of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh. Authors also introduce reporting format when measuring the relationship between assurance and its determinant factors at micro level. The study also links assurance to signalling theory.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2014

Wendy Stubbs and Colin Higgins

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal mechanisms employed by early adopters of integrated reporting in Australia to manage their reporting process and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal mechanisms employed by early adopters of integrated reporting in Australia to manage their reporting process and explores whether integrated reporting is stimulating innovative disclosure mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with organisations in varying stages of implementing integrated reporting. In total, 23 interviews were conducted with sustainability managers, finance managers and communications managers across 15 organisations. A content analysis of the interviews was undertaken using qualitative coding techniques.

Findings

While the organisations that are producing some form of integrated report are changing their processes and structures, or at least talking about it, their adoption of integrated reporting has not necessarily stimulated new innovations in disclosure mechanisms. This study did not uncover radical, transformative change to reporting processes, but rather incremental changes to processes and structures that previously supported sustainability reporting.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation of this research study was the small sample of organisations and stakeholders that participated, and the single-country focus. Finance, accounting and strategy people were particularly under-represented in this study, as well as external stakeholders, and the conclusions can only be tentative until further tested.

Practical implications

This paper sheds light on the practices of early adopters of integrated reporting, and their learning could inform other organisations considering an integrated reporting approach.

Originality/value

As an emerging phenomenon, there are few empirical studies exploring integrated reporting practices and this paper provides some insights into integrated reporting in Australia.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Giselle Durand

The purpose of this paper is to further the understanding of the determinants of audit report lag, which is the number of days from a company’s fiscal year-end to the date…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to further the understanding of the determinants of audit report lag, which is the number of days from a company’s fiscal year-end to the date of its auditor’s report, by synthesizing extant literature. Audit report lag has been a variable of interest in many studies due to its use as a proxy for the occurrence of auditor-client management negotiations and audit efficiency and because long audit report lags delay the release of earnings information to the market.

Design/methodology/approach

The author uses meta-analysis to examine commonly identified predictors of audit report lag to determine if the prior research provides a consistent portrayal of audit report lag drivers.

Findings

The author finds that a number of variables relating to client profitability and financial condition, client complexity and audit opinion modifications increase audit report lag. In addition, audit report lag decreases with client size, when clients have positive earnings news to report and when the auditor has long tenure and provides non-audit services. Several variables, such as those relating to corporate governance and various auditor characteristics, have been little explored and would benefit from future research.

Originality/value

These results will be useful to researchers when selecting control variables for future audit report lag studies and provide insights into the key factors that contribute to the delay in audit reporting.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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