Voluntary disclosure of accounting information : the case of Jordan
The focus of this study is the voluntary disclosure of information in corporate annual reports in Jordan, and its objectives are threefold: (1) to evaluate voluntary disclosure practices in the annual reports of Jordanian companies listed on the Amman Financial Market (AFM); (2) to examine the relationship between a number of explanatory variables and the extent of voluntary disclosure; and (3) to investigate the impact of raising equity capital on the AFM on the voluntary disclosure behaviour of companies which raised equity capital on the AFM. The findings of the study revealed that the actual level of voluntary disclosure in Jordanian corporate annual reports is low, with 61% of the items disclosed in less than half the annual reports. In addition, the study found that annual report disclosure varies from one type of information to another, with both the balance sheet and income statement information notably better disclosed than other types of information, such as forecast information. The study also found that the level of voluntary disclosure varies depending on certain company characteristics. The results of univariate and multivariate analyses identified the size of the company, size of auditing firm, government ownership and the industry type to be significant variables in explaining variation in the level of disclosure. Among these variables, size was the most important and was also the most important variable in explaining variation in the disclosure of different types of information and within each industry. Finally, the study found that companies have significantly increased their level of voluntary disclosure around the time they raised equity capital in AFM, compared with that of a control group.