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Who Uses Financial Reports and for What Purpose? Evidence from Capital Providers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Stefano Cascino
  • Mark Clatworthy
  • Beatriz Garcia Osma
  • Joachim Gassen
  • Shahed Imam
  • Thomas Jeanjean
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-209
Number of pages25
JournalAccounting in Europe
Issue number2
Early online date24 Sep 2014
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Sep 2014
DatePublished (current) - Nov 2014


We review the academic literature on the use of financial reporting information by capital providers. We classify our findings by investor type and by information objective. While most capital providers use accounting information, our survey indicates that they do so in a variety of ways with financial reporting information competing with other sources of information. We also find that information intermediaries are influential in both credit and equity markets, making the identification of a typical target ‘user’ inherently difficult. Our main findings question the underlying objective of the Conceptual Framework to guide the development of standards for general-purpose financial statements to provide a typical knowledgeable investor with a true and fair view about the reporting entity. Finally, we identify gaps in the literature and suggest areas where future research can help inform important academic and policy debates.

    Research areas

  • Accounting, Capital markets, Conceptual Framework, Financial reporting


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