A Model for Measuring the Comparability of Financial Statements Based on the Relative Valuation Theory

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Accounting, Bonab Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bonab, Iran.

2 Associate Prof., Department of Accounting, Bonab Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bonab, Iran

3 Associate Prof., Department of Accounting, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

4 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Bonab Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bonab, Iran

Abstract

Objective: Several stakeholders such as investors, regulators, and researchers all emphasize the importance of financial statement comparability. However, few empirical methods have been developed for measuring financial statement comparability. The main aim of this study is the development of a suitable model for measuring financial statements comparability.

Methods: In order to achieve the goal of the research by relying on the relative valuation theory, the output-based measurement models of de facto financial statements comparability is proposed by using the data gathered from 194 firms during the period of 2009 to 2018.

Results: The research findings show that the new model presented in this study have more explanatory power in comparison with the models proposed by De franco, Kothari & Verdi (2011), which were previously the common pattern for measuring the comparability of financial statements. Among the five versions of selected model, the stock price on earnings per share ratio, stock price on book value per share ratio, stock price at the beginning of the period on earnings per share ratio and the stock price on net sale per share ratio are respectively in the next ranks after the version based on the stock price to operating profit per share ratio, which has the highest explanatory power and the best measurement model according to the validation test results. The research findings in the validation test section also show that the financial statements comparability measured by all version model based on relative valuation theory has a negative impact on information asymmetry and the idiosyncratic risk, and it has a positive effect on the created shareholders value.

Conclusion: The objective of general-purpose financial reporting is to provide users with information that enables them to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of a firm’s future net cash flow. Comparability is a unique qualitative characteristic of financial information that enhances its usefulness. Comparability enables users to make sharper inferences about economic similarities and differences across comparable firms so that investors can better understand and evaluate firm performance. Comparability is particularly important to investors in the equity and debt markets, since their investing and lending decisions essentially involve evaluations of alternative opportunities or projects and these decisions cannot be made without comparable information. Therefore, firm’s financial reporting comparability can lower users’ information acquisition and processing costs and increase the quality of financial information. The model presented in this study, by removing some limitations of previous models, has considered more comprehensive dimensions of the comparability of financial statements. The use of these model drives the decisions of capital market activists more and more towards fundamental analysis and increases the efficiency of the capital market.

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