Voluntary internet financial reporting practices of listed companies in the United Arab Emirates

Peter Oyelere, Nirosh Kuruppu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of the internet as a channel for voluntary communication of financial information by companies listed on two stock exchanges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It aims to focus on the extent and variety of internet financial reporting (IFR) by these companies. While IFR has become standard practice, rather than the exception, in most western countries, empirical evidence of the phenomenon in the Middle East region is only just emerging. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature by providing evidence of voluntary use of IFR for communication of financial information by UAE-listed companies. Design/methodology/approach - The 132 companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (67) and the Dubai Financial Market (65) in the UAE were investigated to ascertain whether they maintain websites; and if so, whether these sites are being used as a channel for voluntary communication of corporate financial information. Findings - While about 87 percent of UAE-listed companies were found to operate websites, only 88 of these companies (about 67 percent) use their websites to communicate financial information. However, IFR is not restricted to the publication of annual financial statements only as the companies also disclose financial highlights through their websites using a variety of formats including PDF, flash and html. Practical implications - The results of this study indicate that, similar to other Middle Eastern countries, IFR is still at an embryonic stage in the UAE and there are considerable opportunities and challenges for all stakeholder parties in corporate communication and reporting. Regulatory authorities may need, at this early stage of development of IFR practices, to develop and establish effective strategies to ensure standard and consistent use of this channel of financial information communication for the benefit of all stakeholders. Originality/value - The study highlights the challenges and opportunities for IFR in the Middle East Region, where it has been sparsely studied. In particular, it focused on the UAE, where literature on IFR practices is, to the best of the authors' knowledge, not yet available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-315
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Accounting Research
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • Corporate communications
  • Disclosure
  • Financial reporting
  • Internet
  • Internet financial reporting
  • Middle East
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Voluntary disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting

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