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The need for and development of differential reporting globally

M.Comm / The international financial reporting arena has undergone considerable changes in recent years. The recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements have increased significantly over the past two decades. Standard setters around the world have justified the more stringent reporting requirements on the grounds of the changes in the international business and economic landscapes as a result of globalisation. These increased financial reporting requirements placed a tremendous burden on Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). As a result, the need for differential reporting has been identified. The notion of differential reporting acknowledges that the users of the financial statements of SMEs have different needs compared to those of public companies. Stakeholders and users of financial statements of SMEs are generally in a position to acquire information additional to that disclosed in the financial statements. Financial information presented in the financial statements is therefore not required to be exhaustive. The users of public company financial statements on the other hand, generally do not have access to any additional information, other than that presented in the financial statements. The information required to be presented in the financial statements, must therefore be extensive in order to allow the user to make informed decisions based on the information. Various countries around the world have responded to this cry for differential reporting, and standard setters have adopted differential reporting in one form or the other. This study discusses the need for differential reporting and outlines the developments of differential reporting internationally and in South Africa, by means of a literature review.
Date19 May 2009
CreatorsGreeff, Marlene E.
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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