Accounting students’ information disclosure decisions: is there a need for changing the status quo on disclosure through accounting education?
Theivananthampillai, Paul S; Liyanarachchi, Gregory A.
The disclosure of minimum information required by law and accounting standards appears to be the status quo on corporate disclosure. This brings into question the fairness of corporate financial statements. The paper reports experimental results that indicate when students have reasons to be concerned about what others may think of their decisions, they are willing to support corporate disclosure policies that include only the legally required minimum information and unwilling to support certain additional disclosures. Arguably, a major re-think of what constitutes an adequate level of disclosure is essential for changing the disclosure status quo. Accounting education has much potential for initiating such a re-think. To this end, the paper identifies the relevance of two measures. That is, students need to be encouraged (a) to recognise the importance of relative accuracy of accounting standards and (b) to recognise the relevance and importance of current debates on corporate disclosure and notions such as fairness when evaluating the adequacy of corporate disclosures.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series: Accountancy Working Paper Series
Keywords: accountability; accounting education; corporate disclosure; student decisions; voluntary disclosure; Experiment
Research Type: Working Paper