Developments in Internet Financial Reporting: Review and Analysis, Across Five Developed Countries

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Internet based corporate reporting is wide spread amongst companies of all sizes in
most countries around the world. The development of online reporting practice has been
rapid, largely mirroring, and motivated by, the development of the world-wide-web since
1994, being the primary Internet medium for online reporting. A number of studies of these
developments have occurred over this time seeking to plot how companies are exploiting the
media of the Internet and how they are developing their reporting practices in response to this
ubiquitous route to current and potential investors, and other stakeholders. In this paper, we
develop this literature further by extending the benchmarks that have been created to monitor
this activity since the mid 1990s. This study focuses on the very largest companies in five
countries around the world. It examines online reporting practices of 250 companies at the
end of 2001 and in early 2002 by creating a detailed attribute analysis of common factors
across the companies examined. In addition to illustrating developments in online reporting
practices since the previous extensive studies were conducted in 1999 and early 2000, the
results provide new insight into recent changes in this domain. It particularly illustrates how
newer, more interactive, aspects of Internet technologies are now being exploited to enable us
to benchmark these activities to follow their use in the near future. The paper then addresses
the relationship between the size of companies and its level of reporting practices, and the
differences between reporting practices of large companies listed primarily in the different
countries examined. These results illustrate that reporting practices differ significantly between
companies in different domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-199
JournalThe International Journal of Digital Accounting Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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