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Is Egyptian corporate financial reporting becoming more conservative?

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Purpose – the study aims to compare the level of accounting conservatism amongst the sample companies prior to the 2011 uprising and after that uprising. The study will proceed further to examine the association between accounting conservatism and the level of leverage and profitability of the sample companies covering the same period.

Design/methodology/approach – First, a review of the extant literature on accounting conservatism is undertaken. Second, the sample comprises all of the non-financial companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange. Accounting conservatism is measured using the Market-to-Book (MTB) ratio, which is one of the most widely used proxies for determining the extent of accounting conservatism in prior literature. The two-sample T test has been employed to compare the level of accounting conservatism six years prior to the 2011 uprising and four years following that uprising. Univariate and multivariate analyses have been used to examine the association between some firm characteristics and the level of accounting conservatism amongst the sample companies at the two investigated periods.

Findings – The evidence implies that the sample companies are actually engaging in less conservative accounting policies following the uprising. The results also reveal that data for the first period seems to have greater variations in the first period than in the second period, as can be seen from the values of the standard deviation. The multivariate analysis reported a significant positive relationship between only size and the level of accounting conservatism at both periods.

Practical Implications – We add Egyptian evidence with respect to the directions of accounting conservatism throughout crisis periods, as the majority of prior studies focus on countries with developed capital markets. In addition, the absence of any specific evidence concerning the direction of accounting conservatism during crisis periods, will lead to naïve investors misinterpreting earnings figures and do not realise the actual value of their shares. Therefore, the results reported in this study may encourage those investors to seek out extensive, widely-sourced information regarding investee firms, before deciding whether to hold or sell their holdings. Furthermore, the results presented in this paper should therefore be of interest to regulators and standard-setters charged with developing accounting standards to improve to quality of accounting information.

Originality/value – To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first and most recent study that examine the level of accounting conservatism amongst non-financial companies in a developing country like Egypt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-346
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Reporting and Accounting
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


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