AbstractThe purpose of the present thesis is to provide a detailed descriptive account of recent Corporate Internet Reporting (CIR) practices amongst non-financial companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), and explore the perceptions of both users and preparers of corporate information concerning this phenomenon in Egypt. The investigation involves: (i) a disclosure index analysis of CIR practices amongst the sampled companies at two points in time – December 2010 and December 2011 – in order to determine the extent of such practices and ascertain whether this has changed across time; (ii) interviews with users (private investors and financial analysts) and preparers (company officials) of corporate information, in order to gather the views of those individuals concerning CIR in Egypt; and (iii) a questionnaire survey of a wider sample of users and preparers of corporate information, in order to explore the perceptions of a relatively large number of users and preparers regarding CIR in Egypt and thereby complement the disclosure index and interview results.
The results suggest that the extent of CIR practices amongst the sampled companies is still limited and there has been little improvement over the investigated period. The results also report great variations amongst the investigated companies concerning the extent to which they embrace the power of the internet for reporting purposes as the full possibilities of the internet in this regard appear not to have yet been realised. However, the practice is found to have a potentially positive impact on the understandability, relevance and comparability of corporate information disseminated online, while its impact on reliability is still questionable. The results from the interview analysis reveal that: (i) the majority of participants were broadly satisfied with Egypt’s internet infrastructure; (ii) interviewees were intensive users of the internet, including accessing online corporate information; and (iii) notwithstanding the previous point, hard copy reports remain the most important source of corporate financial disclosure in Egypt. Views regarding the future of CIR were mixed; participants highlighted some problems associated with CIR and indicated a belief that such practices in Egypt are still very limited compared to those found in developed capital markets. Nonetheless, CIR practices are seen as potentially having a positive impact on the understandability, relevance, and comparability of accounting information, although this was not the case with regard to reliability. The results of the questionnaire survey indicate that the need to offer an image of modernity and to provide financial information are the most important reasons for engaging in CIR practices in Egypt. The participants were reasonably satisfied with most of the investigated issues, although a significant difference was evident amongst the respondent groups concerning the security and privacy of information disseminated via the internet. The results support those from the interviews in suggesting that hard copy annual reports are viewed as the most important source of disclosure in Egypt, with the respondents viewing CIR practices as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, hard copy reports. Finally, the findings support those from the rest of the empirical work in suggesting that, with the exception of reliability, the respondents saw CIR practices as having a potentially positive impact on the qualitative characteristics of accounting information set out in the IASC Framework (1989); this view was shared by users and preparers alike, in contrast to the interviewees, the questionnaire respondents saw CIR practices as having an impact on the cost of capital and share prices, but this view was not overwhelming.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Bruce Burton (Supervisor) & Theresa Dunne (Supervisor)|
- Corporate disclosure
- Corporate Internet reporting