Original Research

Individual shareholders’ understanding of the content of interim reports of South African listed retail companies

Johan GI Oberholster, Carolina Koornhof, Quintus Vorster
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 18, No 2 | a634 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v18i2.634 | © 2015 Johan GI Oberholster, Carolina Koornhof, Quintus Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 January 2014 | Published: 28 May 2015

About the author(s)

Johan GI Oberholster, Universiteit van Pretoria
Carolina Koornhof, University of Pretoria
Quintus Vorster, University of Pretoria

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Abstract

A number of studies conducted, and reports published, by international and local accounting bodies have found that the proliferation of disclosures in financial reports has hampered users’ understanding of these reports. The reports by accounting bodies also indicate that these users prefer more concise financial reports. These findings, in conjunction with a dearth of recent questionnaire-based research on whether individual shareholders understand the content of financial reports, resulted in this study on whether individual shareholders understand the content of interim reports. The study provides empirical proof that a sound knowledge of business, accounting and economic matters is a prerequisite for understanding interim reports in the case of individual shareholders. The results of the study indicate that individual shareholders have a limited understanding of the content of interim reports as a whole, and that a good knowledge of business and economic matters and of accounting results in an improved understanding of the content of interim reports. In particular, specialisation in accounting in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, professional qualifications, and work experience in the financial field improve the understanding of individual shareholders.

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Crossref Citations

1. A review of accounting research in internationalising journals in the South African region
Charl J. De Villiers, Pei-Chi K. Hsiao
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences  vol: 20  issue: 1  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/sajems.v20i1.1729