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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2019

Cristina Silvia Nistor, Cristina Alexandrina Stefanescu, Tudor Oprisor and Andrei Razvan Crisan

This paper aims to investigate whether the key items encompassed in the new reporting trends are addressed in the current reporting set and, also, whether there are…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether the key items encompassed in the new reporting trends are addressed in the current reporting set and, also, whether there are certain patterns regarding disclosure practices across a sample of reporting entities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology takes into consideration both the financial and non-financial elements from the entities’ activities and embeds them in the analysis, in a more holistic frame offered by integrated reporting. The disclosure level is investigated using the six-tier capital model from the International Integrated Reporting Council Framework and the eight major principles from GRI guidelines. Furthermore, the cluster analysis is used to identify the disclosure practices patterns within some European Union local public administrations.

Findings

The level of disclosure within the analyzed entities is relatively high. Also, the results of the cluster analysis reveal some disclosure patterns, especially regarding the Anglo-Saxon and Northern local public administrations, the municipalities with the highest degree of disclosure of the sample.

Research limitations/implications

The most significant limitations are represented by the sample of municipalities, the language filter and the fact that only one-year data were considered for analysis.

Practical implications

The study can be useful to any other institutions under the dome of the public sector, willing to enhance public accountability throughout greater transparency. Also, it might help the public managers to outline a long-term development plan about how to create value and to whom, material issues, risks and strategy through the integrated reporting, a cornerstone for future changes. Moreover, it might also be a subject of interest in the research environment, offering new opportunities for further empirical studies, by applying and testing it in other public organizations.

Originality/value

The study provides an original assessment tool useful to improving the reporting process. Also, it can be useful to other public institutions that are willing to enhance public accountability throughout greater transparency.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2019

Pilar Tirado-Valencia, Magdalena Cordobés-Madueño, Mercedes Ruiz-Lozano and Marta De Vicente-Lama

The purpose of this study is to explore how preparers of non-financial information in the public sector report on the integrated thinking (IT) concept proposed in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore how preparers of non-financial information in the public sector report on the integrated thinking (IT) concept proposed in the integrated reporting (IR) initiative. This concept has not been sufficiently examined, and there is no consensus regarding its meaning. In addition, the elements required to put IT into practice have not been empirically investigated. Specifically, given its relevance in the creation of public value, IT in the field of public sector enterprises is analysed.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, content analysis of a sample of IR reports prepared by state-owned entities is performed with the aim of identifying which aspects offer opportunities for improvement with respect to transparency and sustainability.

Findings

The results show empirical evidence on the relevance of the dimensions considered for IT. However, IT is not yet fully implemented in reporting of the studied organizations despite its importance in the IR framework. Regarding the links between IR information and the process of value creation and strategy, the results reveal that in the external approach dimension connections of the environment and the business model with value creation are relatively frequent. However, connections related to commitment to stakeholder demands are infrequent.

Research limitations/implications

The study has limitations that are primarily related to the small number of sampled companies, which makes it difficult to generalize the conclusions regarding the commitment of organizations to IT. Second, all the dimensions and variables of IT were equally weighted given the lack of weighting information that should be used in IT index construction. Therefore, the index may not be an accurate measure of the commitment of the public entities analysed to this holistic way of thinking. In addition, this study did not take into account other factors that could influence reporting, such as industry or administrative culture, and all public enterprises in the sample were treated as if reporting demands in the public sector were homogeneous regardless of the environment in which they operate. Finally, this study assumes that the quantity of information disseminated through the report about IT variables is an indicator of the degree of adoption of a holistic thinking. However, IT also requires internal management processes and management behaviours which, in fact, are not always reflected in the reports. This could challenge the internal coherence of the quantity of information disseminated through the report as a measure.

Practical implications

This study’s findings have implications for the reporting of public sector enterprises. From the point of view of preparers, the findings show which aspects were taken into account to reflect IT in the report. Adhariani and De Villiers (2019) consider it a key aspect that preparers should prioritize in preparing the report. The study’s results show that many opportunities exist for improving the content of the nonfinancial information reports and providing evidence about the implementation of IT in public sector reporting. Moreover, this study can help standard setters and practitioners guide the content of reporting by public entities, and thus improving their stakeholder relations, accountability, transparency and credibility. In addition, the results may be interesting for legislators and policymakers when determining what regulatory information should be mandatory for public enterprises. Finally, IT can help governments and public managers identify relevant aspects in the generation of public value and legitimize their actions.

Originality/value

Apart from contributing to the clarification of the IT concept, this study empirically analyses how it is being made visible in the reports prepared by public enterprises that currently follow the IR conceptual framework. The results of this analysis can contribute to improving transparency and accountability. In addition, the findings also have implications for sustainability development, as they reveal not only what aspects should be considered in IT but also how to make it operational. The results show that internal processes should be better coordinated and that there is a need of greater involvement of the managers with nonfinancial aspects. Furthermore, information should be more interconnected. All previous would improve the perception that citizens have of the future sustainability of public entities. Specifically, the findings have direct implications for reporting. First, we improve the understanding of IT by clarifying the elements that are to be integrated. The research findings on these aspects that show a holistic vision of the organization have practical implications for preparers who can gain a deeper understanding of the elements and how they should be incorporated in the reports and taking into account that connectivity should be a relevant issue.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 September 2020

Ülle Pärl, Elina Paemurru, Kristjan Paemurru and Helen Kivisoo

This paper analyses the extent to which public sector (PS) and non-profit (NP) organisations' reports and reporting processes adopt an IR framework as model of dialogical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses the extent to which public sector (PS) and non-profit (NP) organisations' reports and reporting processes adopt an IR framework as model of dialogical accountings and accountability (DAA) for dialogue with stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview of accountings and accountability in PS and NP organisations. The concept of dialogical communication with stakeholders is studied. The theoretical framework of DAA is supported by empirical investigation through the case studies of two organisations, one PS and one NP organisation. To contextualize findings from the case study, Estonian private schools' published management reports were analysed to explore integrated reporting (IR) elements. The paper ends with discussion and conclusions.

Findings

NP and PS aimed to improve their reporting practices. Reporting in the PS organisation were based on traditional accounting and accountability models which work in stable and non-competitive environment. IR, as a format for DAA, could bring added value to the PSO, but the mechanisms to make it work are missing. The NP organisations were already spontaneously practising some IR elements. After learning about IR, the NP organisation committed to IR principles and benefited from its guidelines. Implementing IR together with the concepts of dialogical communication, the organisations could create and benefit from better cooperation with their stakeholders both internally and externally.

Research limitations/implications

The case study research does not allow for generalisation of the results, which are limited to the case organisations' context and based on their management's subjective opinions. The limitation of qualitative content analysis as a research method in current study, is its possible subjectivity. The limitation is represented by the fact that only one year's data was for analysis.

Practical implications

This paper can be useful to any PS or NP institution willing to enhance its public accountability and developing dialogue with stakeholders for creation and innovation. This study serves to inform organisations that are searching for ways to improve awareness of IR for communication and co-creation purposes.

Social implications

This study could help in defining the framework for a larger scale IR-related study in finding trends in PS and NP organisations. The study is a platform for exploring the aspects of developing dialogue with different stakeholders of IR implementation and application process.

Originality/value

The conceptual novelty of the research lies in connecting IRF and dialogical communication concept. The focus is to understand how IR expedites dialogical communication in light of IR framework. In current paper, we observe the presence of IR elements in public sector and non-profit sector organisations' reports.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 November 2021

Cristina Alexandrina Stefanescu

This study aims to explore the linkages between sustainable development and sustainability reporting by approaching the UN’s 2030 Agenda in connection with the Integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the linkages between sustainable development and sustainability reporting by approaching the UN’s 2030 Agenda in connection with the Integrated Reporting (IR) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) frameworks. It aims to outline a theoretical model able to support the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) through appropriate reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology follows a qualitative approach, combining content and benchmarking analyses of the official documents in question. It aims to provide a better understanding of the conceptual matches between the “5 Ps” of sustainable development and the two sustainability reporting frameworks (IR and GRI) by breaking them down into components and overlapping their constituents to highlight the connections.

Findings

The results reveal that both sustainability reporting frameworks provide prerequisites to ensure SDGs achievement due to the embedded sustainability issues. As there are more matches between SDGs and the capitals implied in the pursuit of value creation, IR better fits to become part of the sustainable development strategy as a valuable option for reporting on SDGs.

Practical implications

The study addresses academia through a better understanding of the connections between SDGs and sustainability reporting. It might help regulators to improve their latest efforts to enhance transparency and comparability through the enactment of Directive 2014/95, as long as it has not imposed a standardised report yet. It could guide practitioners to face future challenges and support their steps towards standardised reporting practices.

Originality/value

This paper approaches the newsworthy topic of sustainable development, outlining a conceptual model meant to support the SDGs achievement through appropriate standardised reporting. It might also fill the gap of the Directive 2014/95 on non-financial information disclosure as it identifies the most suitable type of reporting to enhance the harmonisation at the European level.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Andreea Cîrstea, Cristina Silvia Nistor and Adriana Tiron Tudor

Considering the worldwide importance granted to this topic, the purpose of this paper is to analyze, through a detailed pyramidal analysis, the intention of International…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the worldwide importance granted to this topic, the purpose of this paper is to analyze, through a detailed pyramidal analysis, the intention of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to respond better to the public sector characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology combines content analysis with the comparative and interpretive method, and also some statistical methods such as residual analysis, association coefficients, that come to bring added value to the public sector literature.

Findings

The main findings of the research concern the appreciation of consolidation approach in the public sphere under a dual aspect. The first one is theoretical, by presenting the evolution of the concept in literature, and the second one is empirical, by analyzing how IPSAS correlates with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), how the Exposure Draft 49 (ED 49) respondents perceive its content and implications, along with the extent to which the publication of IPSAS 35 took into account the exposure draft stage. In the authors’ opinion, the study manages to capture, theoretically and empirically, the evolution and the stage of consolidation in the public sector. The main results of the study lie in the combination in the empirical sphere of the content analysis with the mathematical and statistical methods, in order to assess the correlation IPSAS/IFRS, the responses to ED 49, but also the influences on the final version of IPSAS 35.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of the study are: the diversity of the received responses to ED and the number of comment letters submitted by the respondents.

Practical implications

The study addresses to a broad range of users: theoreticians, practitioners or professional bodies/legislators who will have a basis for analyzing what the acceptance and inclusion of IPSAS 35 in the national accounting rules would mean.

Social implications

The paper offers the possibility to understand the evolution of the concept of public sector consolidation.

Originality/value

The first originality aspect is revealed by the theoretical documentation and the second one lies in the combination of the empirical sphere of the content analysis with the mathematical and statistical methods.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2022

Yanqi Sun, Pui San Ip, Murugesh Arunachalam and Howard Davey

The paper examines integrated reporting (IR) practices of two Japanese universities and three South African universities by evaluating and comparing their 2019 integrated reports.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper examines integrated reporting (IR) practices of two Japanese universities and three South African universities by evaluating and comparing their 2019 integrated reports.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study research method is used in this study.

Findings

The paper reveals that IR is in its infancy at the sample universities. Some universities have initiated disclosing information to their stakeholders on how they create value. However, the universities lack a comprehensive approach to integrating financial and non-financial information, thereby affecting the IR disclosure quality. The findings indicate that informal coercive pressure of South African universities is a primary driving factor that enables the universities to achieve a higher IR disclosure quality than their Japanese counterparts.

Research limitations/implications

This paper argues that institutional theory is relevant for explaining the differences in IR practices of the universities in the two different jurisdictional settings.

Practical implications

The research will be of interest to university administrators, policymakers, regulators and other stakeholder groups of universities. The assessment of integrated reports serves as a first step to help the universities improve IR practices as well as to facilitate the diffusion of IR in higher education institutions (HEIs) globally. There is also a need for universities to pay more attention to the storytelling of their value creation in future IR disclosures.

Originality/value

It is the first to assess the IR quality of the Japanese sample universities as well as the first to conduct a comparative analysis for IR practices of universities in two different jurisdictional settings that have adopted IR. The findings of this study add to the current scholarly debate on universities' ability to tell their stories on their value creation to stakeholders via integrated reports.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Cristina Alexandrina Stefanescu

The purpose of this study is to explore the underlying assumption that macroeconomic factors (legal, cultural, social, financial and/or economic) might support or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the underlying assumption that macroeconomic factors (legal, cultural, social, financial and/or economic) might support or constrain countries’ decisions to timely and fully transpose the Directive 2014/95/EU (EUD) on non-financial information disclosure.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design relies mainly on exploratory factors analysis, regression techniques (linear, logistic and multinomial) and additional robustness and sensitivity tests, all performed to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of the results.

Findings

The results reveal that the directive’s transposition process is driven more by regulatory and social legitimisation forces than by economic and financial pressures. Stronger governance and weaker interests’ protection ensure appropriate compliance with new regulations, while highly educated countries express openness towards developing accounting systems that enhance information transparency.

Practical implications

The results are useful for practitioners currently engaged in the directive’s implementation process, academics interested in challenging debates concerning this topic and regulatory bodies to better support its full enactment.

Originality/value

This paper approaches the newsworthy topic of non-financial information disclosure settled by the EUD and marks an essential step towards harmonising non-financial reporting across Europe. It enriches the scientific literature through the first empirical analysis that sheds light on its explanatory drivers.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Sushila Soriya and Parthvi Rastogi

This study aims to furnish the systematic literature review on integrated reporting (IR) and answer three research questions: How has the IR concept been developed…

1177

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to furnish the systematic literature review on integrated reporting (IR) and answer three research questions: How has the IR concept been developed recently across the different countries? How can the literature of IR be allocated among different focus areas/themes? What are the future opportunities available for IR?

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology involves selection, classification and categorization of 110 articles on IR into their focus areas, journals, time distribution, continent-wise distribution, research methodologies and keywords analysis.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that there is a need of the following: increasing the case studies and empirical research in developing assurance models, analysis of the perception of shareholders in Asian countries, harmonization of financial and non-financial standards, research on the IR of non-listed companies.

Practical implications

It provides insights to practitioners regarding the challenges faced by the economies and internal organization. It might help researchers and academics to focus on developments of IR in different countries. It might also help regulators to develop some policies, models and frameworks for its future implementation.

Originality/value

It furnishes the outline of 110 articles published in eminent journals from the year 2011 to beginning of 2020.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 20 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Pilar Tirado-Valencia, Magdalena Cordobés-Madueño, Mercedes Ruiz-Lozano and Marta De Vicente-Lama

This paper aims to improve the understanding of integrated thinking, as it is a central concept in the integrated reporting (IR) framework that has implications for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to improve the understanding of integrated thinking, as it is a central concept in the integrated reporting (IR) framework that has implications for sustainability reporting, as the holistic view of integrated thinking clarifies the value creation process of organisations and facilitates the incorporation of sustainability issues into the corporate mindset. The study investigates whether there are contextual factors that may be influencing the way integrated thinking is reflected in the reports. The paper focusses on public companies because integrated thinking in this sector plays an important role in terms of sustainability reporting, as these organisations must address more complex and diverse relationships with their stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on a content analysis of the IR reports issued by 21 public sector companies. For this analysis, this study proposed specific dimensions and variables that demonstrate this way of thinking. These allow us to develop an integrated thinking index (ITI) based on a frequency análisis. The influence of the country’s legal system, the sector of activity and the number of years of experience in IR is studied, by conducting t-test and ANOVA analyses and a correlation study.

Findings

The results demonstrate the existence of limited integrated thinking characterised by poor connectivity of information, lack of a clear link between materiality analysis and strategy and insufficient forward-looking perspective. The findings reveal that contextual and institutional factors have little influence on the levels of integrated thinking achieved.

Originality/value

The concept of integrated thinking has not been sufficiently explored to date, despite its importance in the IR conceptual framework. The study proposes specific dimensions and variables to be considered in preparing reports that exhibit this holistic way of thinking. The recommendations can help information preparers and improve the accountability and transparency of public sector companies.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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