Examining financial statements as a corporate governance mechanism Essay

For company, fiscal statements are the study of their public presentation on quarterly or one-year footing. Fiscal statements portray public presentation of endeavors in signifier of pecuniary informations. They are provided to run into a broad scope of users in doing assorted sorts of economic benefit and public policy determinations. Since 2002, Enron dirt and WorldCom dirt had been revealed, public shook their assurance and trust in fiscal statements particularly investors. They are interested in fiscal statement in order to make up one’s mind whether to purchase, sell or keep the portions. Many jobs about the fiscal coverage are jumping up like mushrooms. Hence, these conveying the impact for FASB and IASB to reform corporate administration, fiscal statement, hearer ‘s study and the others.

Use of fiscal statement to value securities

Over the past two decennaries, the political orientation of stockholder value has become entrenched as a rule of corporate administration among entities in U.S. and U.K ( Lazonick and O ‘ Sullivan, 2000 ) . This indicates that maximization of stockholders ‘ value becomes outstanding because the value of company is deciding of stockholders ‘ return. Stock market participants are normally single investor or establishments investors which expect to have the return more than the money that they invested. Information in fiscal statement can assist investor to measure the securities particularly in market efficiency due to the securities monetary values will be adjusted due to all possible information. Based on Pages and Hines ( 2007 ) , if is at the degree of single resource allotment, due to market efficiency, investors without market power can non utilize the information to gain unnatural net incomes. This reinforces fiscal statements to supply faithful and utile information for investors to foretell future public presentation of company. Therefore, investors can analyze the available informations and react rapidly and accurately to new information.

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In add-on, they use fiscal statements to detect the current profitableness of company and predict its hereafter profitableness, growing of stock monetary values and ability of distribution of dividends. Investors can cognize the consistence of company in administering the dividend. Furthermore, they pay attending to the reported net incomes of the houses. By sing fiscal statements, investors can find the price-earnings ratio is important because investors can make up one’s mind whether the portions are presently under- or overvalued by comparing it with a prognosis of entity net incomes ( Elliott and Elliott, 2006 ) . So that, investor will hold an thought of how much the market is willing to pay for the entity ‘s net incomes. It can be interpreted as degree of assurance of market towards outlook of growing in entity ‘s earning and direction in the hereafter. On the other manus, gaining per portion ( EPS ) shows the figure that investors will have for each portion when the entity decides to administer net income as dividend. By comparing EPS signifier old and current, it indicates the rate of growing of entity ‘s earning and allow investors to find whether the portion of entity is deserving for them to put.

Use of fiscal statements as a corporate administration mechanism

The degree of assurance of investors is the currency of a free market system, but non money ( Oxley, 2007 ) . Investors are clear that they are affecting investings which fill with hazards and wagess, so they will react harmonizing to transparence and credibleness information available. If the information is uncomplete or incorrect and the insider information is leaked, the monetary value of securities will travel incorrect. Furthermore, the gatekeepers of information ( managers, directors and comptrollers ) sometimes leak information to others people. These will be harm for investors. After accounting dirt, public lost assurance in fiscal statement due to the managers and directors manipulated their reported net incomes became positive, therefore investors might inquire whether the fiscal statements were dependable to do determination. Indeed, ordinances and ethical behavior of comptrollers are the ways to reconstruct assurance of public or users of fiscal statements. It so came out Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ( SOX ) which enacted by U.S. to reconstruct investor assurance and forestall the accounting dirt. SOX intends to advance corporate duty, increase public revelation, better the quality and transparence of fiscal coverage and auditing, and strengthen punishments for securities jurisprudence and other misdemeanors ( Alkhafaji, 2007 ) . Under SOX, a good corporate and concern moralss are enacted as jurisprudence.

To forestall directors from making misrepresentations, corporate administration demand to be strengthened and becomes crystalline and answerability. Corporate administration is a mechanism to guarantee that the managers will move the involvements of investors or stockholders but non prosecute their ain involvements. Because of fiscal coverage is an indispensable portion of corporate administration, it besides describes the responsibilities of board of managers are to reexamine, O.K. and subject fiscal statements to stockholders. In other words, corporate administration provides a position about how board of managers proctors the procedure of bring forthing the fiscal statements and supports the position of the board is responsible for supplying transparence of context in fiscal statements. Transparency and credibleness of information is of import for public to understand the company. Therefore, fiscal coverage and related revelations must be certified by independent hearers as being harmonizing to General Accepted Accounting Principles to guarantee dependability. When the responsibilities of board of managers in this country are clearly disclosed, stockholders and other stakeholders can happen it utile in supplying an extra degree of comfort sing the fact that the fiscal statements accurately represent the state of affairs of the company ( UNCTAD, 2006 ) . Decidedly, it is cut downing the cost of capital of stockholder. If the corporate administration is weak, so the information in the fiscal statements is fraud and specious. Then, investors will hard to find the intrinsic value of the portions and non trust on fiscal statement because the responses of stock returns to signals are unsure. True, corporate administration plays a important function in bettering the efficiency of the capital market through its impact on corporate operating efficiency and effectivity, gaining growing and employment, and unity and quality of fiscal studies ( Rezaee, 2002 ) . Hence, Section 302 and 404 of SOX purposes to better corporate administration through appraisal of internal control in order to forestall and observe frauds. It requires the direction degree and independent hearer to supply internal control over fiscal statement dependably and transparently. They are non allowed to supply any misunderstanding stuffs and omit any facts or information. Finally, information of fiscal statements are more unity and reliable.

Information provided to run into users and intents

The model lists users and their demands under seven classs ( Alfredson et al. , 2009 ) . There are present and possible investors, loaners, providers and other creditors, employees, clients, authoritiess and their bureaus, and public. They use fiscal statements to do determination. For illustration, investors need to make up one’s mind whether to purchase, sell or keep portions and reappointed direction ; loaners need to make up one’s mind whether to impart and at what monetary value ; providers and other creditors need to make up one’s mind whether to widen recognition ; employees need to do rational calling determinations ; clients concern whether the company able to supply goods or services for them in the hereafter ; authorities and their bureaus interested in activities of the entity every bit good as its ability to pay revenue enhancements ; and the populace interested in consequence on the local economic system for the company activities. Therefore, information in fiscal statements should be utile to do such determinations.

Typically, fiscal statements are provided by the managers or directors. Directors ‘ legitimate involvement are best served by information that is extremely enlightening about their public presentation in running the company, since this enables efficient compensation contracts and better working of managerial labor markets ( Scott, 2009 ) . They need to work for best involvement of investors because they are appointed by them. Consequently, direction ‘s public presentation in dispatching its stewardship duties is of import to bing investors when doing determination whether to reappoint or compensate direction and the others. A batch of information in fiscal statement for investors to entree stewardship in order to do determination such as bargain, sell or hold the investing. For illustration, it provides information about the entity ‘s resources, claims on those resource and alterations in resources and claims. Hence, fiscal statement served as one sort of duologue between investors and directions. Therefore, stewardship can work out the bureau job and it becomes a function aim of fiscal statements.

Stewardship relates to behaviour of direction and by and large on past event. When the Enron dirt had been revealed, investors lost assurance in accessing stewardship. They found that managers might rip off them, peculiar in supplying bogus information. Therefore, they move towards to “ determination utility ” . They expect that the information can be utile when doing determination instead than merely concentrate on stewardship portion. Besides, stewardship is deficient for users to foretell the hereafter chances because it provides less information of future events and minutess.

Information should be “ determination utility ” to users

Furthermore, stewardship focuses narrowly on the bing investor and ignores others. It is conflict with the aim of fiscal coverage which “ to supply information about the fiscal place, fiscal public presentation and hard currency flows of an entity that is utile to a broad scope of users in doing economic determinations ” ( Alfredson et al. , 2009 ) . This lead to job of placing the users and the information they needed. Finally, the Board identifies the present and possible investors, loaners and other creditors as primary users every bit good as capital suppliers because they have direct and immediate demands instead than other users ‘ demands. This makes other users such as providers and employees grumble for unjust and biasness of fiscal coverage. They complaint the aims of fiscal coverage should non limited in fulfilling the demands of investors, therefore they ask for information in “ determination utility ” instead than stewardship ” . Since stewardship arise differences, “ determination utility ” come out to get the better of the jobs. Without uncertainty, fiscal statements, at least, should be made more utile for users because it is impossible to supply theoretically right fiscal statement ( Scott, 2009 ) .

To react to the aims of fiscal coverage, “ determinations usefulness ” is needed in order for users to do determinations. Therefore, fiscal coverage should concentrate on “ determination utility ” instead than “ stewardship ” . If fiscal coverage is non utile in influence determination, these resources would be wasted and it would look that it would function no intent ( Lennard, 2007 ) . Besides, determination utility is related to anticipation of future hard currency flow of a company. Hence, determination utility is more relevant to run into the aims of fiscal coverage. Although the construct of determination utility will embrace supply information utile in accessing direction ‘s stewardship, stewardship should be retained to guarantee there is appropriate accent on company public presentation as a whole and non merely on possible hereafter hard currency flow because it is inherently linked to bureau theory and is a broader impression than resource allotment as it focuses on both past public presentation and how the entity is positioned for the hereafter ( Anon. , 2007 ) . Therefore, there are no struggles between determination utility and stewardship. Finally, the Board conclude that stewardship determination utile are parallel aims with different accents, therefore defines as separate aims.

However, the fiscal coverage can non supply all the information for these users to do determinations. This does non connote that other users are to be ignored: the information that provided to investors is utile as a frame of mention for other users, against which they can measure more specific information they may obtain in their traffics with the company ( Dodge, 1997 ) . No affair other users have direct and indirect involvements in measuring company ‘s ability to bring forth hard currency and hard currency equivalents and of the timing and certainty of those future hard currency flows, these are same with capital suppliers ‘ involvements. The Board besides concluded that, to extent to the demands of other users do non overlap with common demands of capital suppliers, those demands are beyond the range of general purpose fiscal coverage ( IASB, 2008 ) . Therefore, the information meets the capital suppliers ‘ demands will automatically fulfill other users ‘ demands regardless how much extra fiscal informations are available for users.

Besides this, fiscal coverage will be utile at least, possessing two cardinal qualitative features viz. relevancy and faithful representation. Information is relevant if it is capable of doing a different in the determinations made by users in their capacity ( IASB, 2008 ) , whereas information should be faithful presentation to guarantee that the word picture of an economic phenomenon is complete, impersonal, and free from material mistake ( IASB, 2008 ) . These qualitative features will together lend to determination utility of fiscal coverage. Besides, comparison, verifying, seasonableness and understandibility used as heightening the qualitative features in order to supply more determination useful of fiscal describing information.

Revised conceptual model: Aims of fiscal statement

To response these, FASB and IASB have merely begun a new articulation docket undertaking, to revisit their conceptual models for fiscal accounting and coverage ( Bullen 2005 ) . Conceptual model is needed to supply construction and consistence of accounting criterions because there are many statements about the accounting criterions since the criterions are developed by each member of standard-setting organic structure based on their single constructs. When new theory and thought came out, some people might non accept them. However, the model needed to be updated and refined to reflect about the current issues or jobs. Some criterions are non longer to be consistent should be eliminated. Furthermore, some of the model is needed to be mended in order to be completed. If non, some managers of companies will by chance to make loopholes. They will presume that some issues are non reference in model will be permitted. Therefore, it should revise the conceptual model to guarantee the model can be utile as guidelines to the Accounting Board for doing standard-setting determinations.

In the yesteryear, SOX required the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) to analyze the feasibleness of a principles-based accounting system since the U.S. accounting dirt revealed that the accounting criterions have become “ rules-based, ” filled with specific inside informations in an effort to turn to as many possible eventualities as possible ( Shortridge and Myring, 2004 ) . Rules-based is deficiency of flexibleness in seting to conditions and new merchandises, therefore it ever requires for cares. Besides, it is easier for companies to look for loopholes in order to make their favorable coverage. Awareness of disadvantages of rules-based, the FASB decided to revisit the model and travel toward doing accounting criterions to be “ principles-based ” . Such criterions, by their very nature, must be soundly grounded in a coherent and cohesive set of constructs that is up to day of the month, internally consistent and comprehensive ( Johnson, 2004 ) . In this manner, FASB can accomplish the end. Unlike rules-based, principles-based is a standard rely on judgement and reading of the fiscal statement preparers before they can be implemented. It is more flexible and less care if compare with rules-based. In order to implement principles-based, those paperss of FASB Concepts Statements and IASB Framework demand to be refined, updated, completed and converged. Indeed, criterions need to alter to reflect the current issues.

During 2008, two accounting Boardss, IASB and FASB jointly proposed treatment paper that sets out the preliminary positions on the coverage entity construct and related issues. The intent of unfastened treatment to public is to meet together all the thoughts and suggestion from them, and so come out better criterions. For cases, some may propose that the Boards demand to clearly place the “ broad scope of users ” and defined the “ coverage equity ” . Besides, some will propose the Board to better conceptual model. By bettering the criterions, the users will be more unafraid about utilizing the fiscal coverage.


In drumhead, investors rely on information of fiscal statements to do determination. Therefore, information should be dependable and relevant for them. Besides, the Boardss need to clearly and specific place the aims of fiscal coverage and set out some policies and criterions to heighten the qualitative of fiscal coverage and restraints some company from making fraud or loophole. Fiscal coverage are “ determination utile ” when they can fulfill the demands of the users. Furthermore, conceptual model demand to polish and updated in order to be consistent with principles-based that promote determination utile fiscal coverage and reflect alterations in concern patterns, economic environments and markets.


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