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A comparative empirical examination of extent of disclosure by private and public colleges and universities in the United States

Gordon, T., Fischer, M., Malone, D. and Tower, G. (2002) A comparative empirical examination of extent of disclosure by private and public colleges and universities in the United States. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 21 (3). pp. 235-275.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0278-4254(02)00051-0
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Abstract

This study examines the annual reports of 100 United States (US) institutions of higher education to determine identifiable and measurable factors associated with extent of disclosure. Each disclosure was weighted by its relative importance to users of college and university financial statements. The measurement construct for extent of disclosure was the ratio of an institution's total disclosure score to its total possible disclosure score. Institution size and public/private status were associated with total extent of disclosure but leverage and audit firm size were not significant. Extent of disclosure of non-financial performance information (service efforts and accomplishments) was associated with high tuition rates and low dependence on tuition revenue and with state auditors as opposed to public accounting firm auditors. The findings are consistent with accountability and public interest tenets (Coy, D., Fischer, M., Gordon, T., 2001. Public accountability: a new paradigm for college and university annual reports. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 12 (1), 1-31). Highly visible institutions, those larger in size or audited by the state, disclosed more information. Moreover, some institutions used a corporate-style report to better promote their interests.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Copyright: © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/33995
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