Measuring accounting disclosure in a period of complex changes: the case of Egypt

Omneya H. Abdelsalam, Pauline Weetman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significant changes in accounting disclosure are observed in periods of economic change such as those relating to emerging capital markets and programs of privatization. Measurement of the level of accounting disclosure should ideally be designed to capture the complexity of change in order to give insight and explanation to match the causes and consequences of change. This paper shows the added interpretive value in subdividing the disclosure checklist to reflect the requirements of national accounting regulations, the location of disclosure items in the annual report, and limitations on the availability of regulations in official translation to the local language. Defining targeted disclosure categories leads to significance testing of specific aspects of changes in accounting disclosure in the Egyptian capital market in the 1990s. Strong correlation of disclosure with the presence of majority government ownership of the company and the relative activity of share trading supports the applicability of political costs and capital need theories, respectively. The relation between International Accounting Standards (IASs) disclosure and the type of audit firm points to additional theoretical explanations, including relative familiarity with the legislation and compliance features identifiable with the emerging capital market. The approach described in this paper has the potential for enhancing understanding of the complexity of accounting change in other emerging capital markets and developing economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-104
Number of pages30
JournalAdvances in International Accounting
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Incorporated into Advances in Accounting (0882-6110)


  • accounting disclosure
  • emerging capital markets
  • programs of privatization
  • disclosure checklist
  • national accounting regulations
  • annual report
  • regulations
  • Egyptian capital market
  • majority government ownership
  • share trading supports
  • political costs
  • capital need theories
  • International Accounting Standards
  • disclosure
  • developing economies


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