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Academy of Accounting & Financial Studies Journal






This study extends previous work with a seven year (2004-10) longitudinal investigation of annual report design for Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 companies. Prior research identifies the normalization of annual report design, with particular attention to voluntary disclosures, such as charts and graphs and other material designed to impress the shareholders and/or potential investors. Our findings show two distinct trends in annual report design. The first trend is to include Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10-K, which includes a complete set of financial statements and extensive nonfinancial information in the annual report to the shareholders. The second trend is that companies selectively use voluntary disclosures or have eliminated completely voluntary disclosures to shareholders. Overall, we conclude corporate America has improved the quality and presentation of nonfinancial and financial information in annual reporting, although voluntary disclosures are playing a smaller role. Evidence suggested fewer companies are using the annual report as an impression management vehicle.


Author Posting. © Jordan Whitney Enterprises, Inc., 2012. This article is posted here by permission of Jordan Whitney Enterprises, Inc. for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Academy of Accounting & Financial Studies Journal, Volume 16, Issue 3, June 2012.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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