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Measuring and reporting income in Europe

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of International Accounting Research
Issue number1
Number of pages33
Pages (from-to)27-59
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The IASB discussion paper, Preliminary Views on Financial Statement Presentation (IASB 2008), asks whether income should be aggregated and reported as a single comprehensive income figure, and how comprehensive income components should be reallocated. We extend prior empirical evidence by researching 16 European countries and by an extensive examination of impact metrics that include information, measurement, prediction, and conditional conservatism issues. A European setting that comprises substantial variation in markets, accounting rules, and business culture would, ceteris paribus, support differential reporting of comprehensive income. Results, however, consistently support the retention of operating net income as a general decision-relevant metric, with other comprehensive income reported individually and delineated by its unrealized nature. We found no compelling evidence that it should be reallocated into net income by function. Further, reported aggregated comprehensive income reverses the conservative attributes of income and has policy implications for providers of debt capital in a European setting. Results are robust to several firm-specific controls, nonlinearities, the impact of reporting incentives, and for early IFRS adopters.