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

Stefano Cascino, Mark Clatworthy, Beatriz Garcia Osma, Joachim Gassen, Shahed Imam, Thomas Jeanjean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-209
Number of pages25
JournalAccounting in Europe
Issue number2
Early online date24 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Structured keywords

  • AF Financial Reporting


  • Accounting
  • Capital markets
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Financial reporting


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