This study will show the level of corporate disclosure practices in listed non-financial companies of Bangladesh. To identify the level of corporate disclosure practices, 190 items are developed for disclosure element checking through annual reports. These 190 elements are re-categorized into 38 items on the basis of similar characteristics. In appendices part, table-1 shows these descriptive statistics of those 38 elements.
6.1. Descriptive Statistics
Elements Wise Analysis:
By analyzing table-1, it is clear that cash and cash equivalent has 99.3 percent disclosure. This percentage is the highest mean of disclosure (average disclosure) among others. This cash and cash equivalent disclosure included five types of elements. These five types of elements are cash & cash equivalent; components of cash & cash equivalent at the balance sheet date; cumulative amount of cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities; the components of cash and cash equivalent should disclose and a reconciliation of cash flow statement together with similar items at available in balance sheet should be presented. These all elements can be considered as financial asset for a company. It is obvious that a good amount of cash is needed to avoid any types of liquidity problem in the firm and this position of liquidity will express a good view for a firm. Signal theory suggested that organizational management must try to give signal by providing good news to the investors for the betterment of their investment decision.
The finance cost element has the second highest average disclosure. It has 0.967 or 96.70 percent disclosure. The main reason of being second of this element is that every company tries to clear about its finance system and tries to show it strong ability to investors. According to Sengupta (1998), higher level of corporate disclosure may cause to ensure lower effective cost of debt.
The third position of average disclosure is audit expense and it has 0.957 or 95.70 percent level of disclosure in corporate annual reports. Agency theory referred this audit expense to the agency cost. It can also be known as monitoring cost of the company. In general, audit activities have done by the external body of the firm and this audit activity ensures the level of management accuracy in case of preparing annual reports. Audit expense is largely related with the quality of the audit.
Now, the elements of disclosure can be shown as lowest ranked on the basis of above level of disclosure table. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) cost has the first lowest level of disclosure in corporate annual reports and it has only 39.30 percent level of corporate disclosure. For an example, a firm contributed 50 million to government approved charity. This activity is considered as CSR activities. Financial companies are largely bound to perform CSR activities. On the contrary, non-financial companies are not bound to perform CSR activities. Financial companies have strong regulatory body like Bangladesh Bank but non-financial companies do not have to maintain any kind of efficient regulatory body. That’s why in this sample company, CSR cost has the lowest ranked in level of corporate disclosure.
The second lowest element is research and development cost. It has 41.90 percent level of disclosure in annual reports. There are several categories like textile, engineering, pharmaceutical, food etc included in this sample. It is found that only pharmaceutical companies have concentration on research to develop new product. Others have low contribution in research and development cost and its related corporate disclosure in annual reports.
The investment income disclosure has own the third lowest position and it has 54.50 percent level of corporate disclosure in annual reports of non-financial companies. This type of disclosure included the break up of investment income and the way of treatment for investment. In addition, investment income can be found in also internal and company does not want to disclose confidential information. It may cause competitive disadvantages.
6.2 Annual Report Part Wise Analysis:
In this study, annual reports related information can be categorized into 6 different parts. These six parts included as follows:
1. General information
2. Statement of Financial position or notes
3. Statement of financial performance or Notes
4. Statement of Cash flows
5. Accounting Policies and
6. Directors’ Report
In this study, 190 elements are selected for justifying the level of corporate disclosure in annual reports. There are 19 elements among 190 elements are general information based elements or historical summary which is 10 percent of the sample.
Statement of financial position based disclosure is 34.7 percent and it has 66 numbers of elements among 190 elements. Statement of financial performance has 23.2 percent level of disclosure and it covers 44 elements. Statement of cash flows has 15.8 percent level of disclosure in this sample and it is associated with 30 elements. Accounting Policy related disclosure level is 12.2 percent and this section is associated with 23 elements of disclosure items. The last section is Directors’ Report which disclosure level is 4.2 percent and it has 8 elements among 190 items.
In table-3, it is found that the highest level of disclosure found in the Statement of Financial Position ; Notes. The second position of corporate disclosure is found in statement of financial performance, the next section is Statement in Cash Flows, the next one is general information. The last two positions are related with accounting policies and Directors’ Report.
6.3 Company Wise Analysis:
In appendix, table-3 shows the average level of corporate disclosure for individual company of this sample. Some of companies have more than the average level of corporate disclosure and some of companies have less than the average level of disclosure. From this part, we can find out the highest performer companies which practices highest level of corporate disclosure in annual reports.