This work adds to previous literature concerning the regulation of non-financial information in annual reports. Based on a sample of Italian listed companies, our aim is to evaluate the quality of indicator disclosure in Italy, before and after the introduction of two specific normative interventions issued by two European authorities. Following the European prescriptions, Italian regulator has opted for a mainly voluntary regime for indicator disclosure that neither specifies any particular indicator to report on, nor mandates any indication about the way of presentation. We analysed the disclosure about financial and non-financial indicators included in management reports before and after the European interventions. A multidimensional measure based on three dimensions — amount, type and presentation — is developed to assess the quality of performance indicator disclosure. Findings show that mainly voluntary regime is not effective in guarantee the quality of performance indicator disclosure in Italian annual reports. The number of financial indicators published has arisen over time, but this increase is mainly related to adjusted measures. On the other hand,
non-financial indicators remain rarely published. Moreover, firms pay less attention to the international recommendations regarding the presentation of performance indicators prescribed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) with the Recommendation CESR/05-178b. The main policy implications derived from these results are discussed. In particular, the development of disclosure frameworks that take into consideration the differences among performance indicator categories might contribute to preserve the quality of annual report disclosure.


  • ACCOUNTING STANDARD BOARD (ASB), Reporting Standard 1 — Operating and Financial Review, London, May, 2005.
  • ALTMAN E.I., Financial Ratios, Discriminant analysis and the prediction of corporate bankruptcy, Journal of Finance, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 589-609, 1968.
  • AMIR, E., LEV B., Value-Relevance of non-financial information: the wireless communications industry. Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 22 No. 1-3, pp. 3-30, 1996.
  • ASSIREVI, Indicatori alternativi di performance, Documento di ricerca n. 137, Giugno 2009.
  • BARNES P., The analysis and use of financial ratios: a review article, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 449-461, 1987.
  • BARTH, M., W. BEAVER, W. LANDSMAN, The relevance of the value relevance literature for financial accounting standard setting: Another view. Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 31, pp. 77-104, 2001.
  • BEATTIE V., MCINNES B., FEARNLEY S., A methodology for analyzing and evaluating narratives in annual reports: a comprehensive descriptive profile and metrics for disclosure quality attributes, Accounting Forum, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 205-236, 2004
  • BEATTIE V., MCINNES B., FEARNLEY S., Through the eyes of management: narrative reporting across three sectors, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Londra, 2004.
  • BEATTIE, V., MCINNES B., Narrative reporting in the UK and in the US — Which system works best?, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Londra, 2006.
  • BERETTA S., BOZZOLAN S., Quality versus quantity: the case of forward-looking disclosure, Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 333-375, 2008.
  • BOESSO, G., KUMAR, K., Drivers of corporate voluntary disclosure: a framework and empirical evidence from Italy and the United States, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 269-296, 2007
  • BOWEN R.M., DAVIS A.K. E MATSUMOTO D.A., Emphasis on pro forma versus GAAP earnings in quarterly press releases: Determinants, SEC intervention and market reactions, The Accounting Review, Vol. 80 No. 4, pp. 1011-1038, 2005.
  • BUKH, P.N., NIELSEN, C., GORMSEN, P., MOURITSEN, J., Disclosure of information on intellectual capital in Danish IPO prospectuses, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 713-732, 2005.
  • CLATWORTHY, M.A., JONES, M.J., Financial reporting of good news and bad news: evidence from accounting narratives, Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 171-185, 2003.
  • COMMISSIONE NAZIONALE PER LE SOCIETÀ E LA BORSA (CONSOB), Comunicazione n. DEM/ 6064293 del 28-7-2006. Oggetto: Informativa societaria degli emittenti quotati e degli emittenti aventi strumenti finanziari diffusi tra il pubblico di cui all’art. 116 del TUF - Richieste ai sensi dell’art. 114, comma 5, del D.Lgs. 58/98, CONSOB, 2006.
  • CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DEI DOTTORI COMMERCIALISTI (CNDCEC), La Relazione sulla Gestione art. 2428 Codice Civile - La Relazione sulla Gestione dei bilanci d’esercizio alla luce delle novità introdotte dal D.lgs. 32/2007, Roma, 2009.
  • CORAM, P. J., MOCK, T. J., MONROE, G. S., Financial analysts’ evaluation of enhanced disclosure of non-financial performance indicators, The British Accounting Review, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 87-101, 2011.
  • CORBELLA, S., LIONZO, A., LASSINI, U., La misurazione della “Disclosure Quality” economico-finanziaria: una rassegna ragionata della letteratura internazionale, Rivista dei Dottori Commercialisti, Vol. 63(4), pag. 719-761, 2012.
  • DELOITTE, A Telling Performance. Surveying Narrative Reporting in Annual Reports, Deloitte, Londra, 2009.
  • EDVINSSON L., MALONE M.S., Intellectual Capital: Realizing Your Company’s True Value by Finding Its Hidden Roots, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1997.
  • ENTWISTLE, G. M., Exploring the R&D disclosure environment, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 323-341, 1999.
  • EUROPEAN SECURITIES AND MARKETS AUTHORITY (ESMA), Recommendation on Alternative Performance Measures, CESR/05-178b, Ottobre, 2005.
  • EUROPEAN UNION (EU), Directive 2003/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2003 amending Directives 78/660/EEC, 83/349/EEC, 86/635/ EEC and 91/674/EEC on the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies, banks and other financial institutions and insurance undertakings”, 2003.
  • FACCIO, M., LANG, L.H.P., The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 365-395, 2002.
  • FRANCIS, J., SCHIPPER, K., Have Financial Statements Lost Their Relevance?, Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 319-352, 1999.
  • FROST, C.A., LANG, M.H., Foreign companies and U.S. securities markets: financial reporting policy issues and suggestions for research, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 95-109, 1996.
  • GARCÍA-OSMA, B., GUILLAMÓN-SAORÍN, E., Corporate governance and impression management in annual results press releases, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 36, pp. 187-208, 2011.
  • GIUNTA, F., DAINELLI, F., The value relevance of non-financial performance indicators: new cues from the European Fashion Industry, Financial Reporting, Special Issue, pp. 81-102, 2011.
  • GRECO, G., Gli Indicatori di performance nella Relazione sulla Gestione, Amministrazione & Finanza, Vol. 5, pp. 73-76, 2010.
  • GREENSTONE, M., OYER, P., VISSING-JORGENSEN, A., Mandated disclosure, stock returns and the 1964 Securities Acts Amendments, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 121 No. 2, pp. 399-460, 2006.
  • HITZ, J. M., Press release disclosure of ’pro forma’ earnings metrics by large german corporations. Empirical evidence and regulatory recommendations, Accounting in Europe, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 63-86, 2010.
  • HOFSTEDE, G., Culture’s Consequences, Sage Publications, NY, 1980.
  • HOOGENDOORN, M., International Accounting Regulation and IFRS Implementation in Europe and Beyond — Experiences with First-time Adoption in Europe, Accounting in Europe, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 23-26, 2006.
  • HOOKS K.L., MOON J.E., Management Discussion and Analysis: An Examination of The Tensions, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 225-246, 1993.
  • HOSSAIN M., PERERA M.H.B., RAHMAN A.R., Voluntary disclosure in the annual reports of New Zealand companies, Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, Vol. 6, pp. 69-87, 1995.
  • INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARD BOARD (IASB), Management Commentary, Discussion Paper, IASB, Londra, Ottobre, 2005.
  • INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARD BOARD (IASB), IFRS Practice Statement Management Commentary. A framework for presentation, IASB, Londra, Dicembre, 2010.
  • INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF SECURITIES COMMISSIONS (IOSCO), An IOSCO Technical Committee Release: Cautionary Statement Regarding Non-GAAP Results Measures, IOSCO, 2002.
  • ITTNER C.D, LARCKER, D.F., Are nonfinancial measures leading indicators of financial performance? An analysis of customer satisfaction, Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 36, pp. 1-35, 1998.
  • JAGGI B., LOW P.Y., Impact of Culture, Market Forces, and Legal System on Financial Disclosures, The International Journal of Accounting, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 495-519 2000.
  • KAPLAN R.S., NORTON D.P., The balanced scorecard: measures that drive performance, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 70 No. 1, pp. 71-79, 1992.
  • KATZ, H.C., LEE, W., LEE, J., The New Structure of Labor Relations. Tripartism and Decentralization, Cornell University Press, New York, 2004.
  • KRIPPENDORFF K., Content Analysis. An Introduction to its Methodology, The Sage Commtext Series, Sage Publications Ltd., London, pp. 130-132, 1980.
  • LA PORTA R., LOPEZ-DE-SILANES F., SHLEIFER A., VISHNY R., Law and finance. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 106, pp. 11131-1155, 1998.
  • LANGBERG N., SIVARAMAKRISHNAN K., Voluntary disclosures and information production by analysts, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 78-100, 2008
  • LEUZ, C., HAIL L., WYSOCKI, P., Global accounting convergence and the potential adoption of IFRS by the U.S (part I): conceptual underpinnings and economic analysis, Accounting Horizons Vol. 24, pp. 355-394, 2010.
  • LINDERMAN, A. (2001) Computer content analysis and manual coding techniques: a comparative analysis, in M.D. WEST (ED.), Theory, Method and Practice in Computer Content Analysis, pp. 97-109 (Westport, CT: Ablex).
  • LYNCH R.L., CROSS K.F., Measure Up! The Essential Guide to Measuring Business Performance, Mandarin, London, 1991.
  • MAINES, L.A., BARTOV, E., FAIRFIELD, P.M., HIRST, D.E., IANNACONI, T.E., MALLETT, R., SCHRAND, C.M., SKINNER, D.J., VINCENT, L., Recommendations on disclosure of nonfinancial performance measures, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 353-362, 2002.
  • MATSUMOTO K., SHIVASWAMY M., HOBAN J.P., Security Analysts’ Views of The Financial Ratios of Manufacturers and Retailers, Financial Practice & Education, Fall/Winter, pp. 44-55, 1995.
  • PISANO, S., Efficacia della comunicazione economico-finanziaria nella relazione sulla gestione: un’analisi empirica sulle società quotate italiane, Rivista Italiana di Ragioneria e di Economia Aziendale, Luglio-Agosto, pp. 417-428, 2011.
  • PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS (PWC), Guide to key performance indicators, Pricewaterhouse- Coopers LLP, London, 2007.
  • RILEY R. A. JR., PEARSON, T.A., TROMPETER, G., The value relevance of non-financial performance variables and accounting information: the case of the airline industry, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 231-254, 2003.
  • RIZZOTTI, D., RIZZA, C., GRECO, A.M., Capacità informativa della disclosure volontaria sulle risorse intangibili: effetti sul mercato finanziario italiano, Financial reporting, Vol. 2, pp. 9-31, 2011.
  • ROBB, S.W.G., SINGLE, L.E., ZARZESKI, M.T., Nonfinancial disclosures across Anglo-American countries, Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 71-83, 2001.
  • SEAH S., TARCA A., The Impact of Regulatory Framework on Management Commentary Reports, AFAANZ Conference, Wellington, 2006.
  • SHALOM H.S., Cultural Dimensions of Values: Towards an Understanding of National Differences, in UICHOL KIM ET AL. (EDS), Individualism and Collectivism: Theoretical and Methodological Issues, Sage Publications, Londra, 1994.
  • SHLEIFER, A., VISHNY, R.W., Large shareholders and corporate control, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 94, No. 3, pp. 461-488, 1986.
  • TAURINGANA V., MANGENA M., The Influence of the Business Review on Reporting Key Performance Indicators in the UK Media Sector, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Edimburgo, 2009.
  • VANSTRAELEN, A., ZARZESKI, M., ROBB, S., Corporate nonfinancial disclosure practices and financial analyst forecast ability across 3 European countries, Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 249-278, 2003.
  • WATSON A., SHRIVES P., MARSTON C., Voluntary disclosure of accounting ratios in the UK, British Accounting Review, Vol. 34, pp. 289-313, 2002.
  • WHITLEY, R., European Business Systems. Firms and Markets in Their National Contexts, SAGE Publications Ltd, Londra, 1993.
  • WRIGHT P.D., KEEGAN, D.P., Pursuing Value: The Emerging Art of Reporting on the Future, Price Waterhouse, Londra, 1997.
  • ZAMBON S., The Managerialisation of Financial Reporting: An introduction to a destabilising accounting change, Financial Reporting, Vol. 3, pp. 5-16, 2011.
Chiudi [X]

Acquista l'articolo

Inserisci i tuoi dati affinché un funzionario di Giuffrè possa contattarti per perfezionare i termini dell’acquisto

Campi obbligatori*


👤  Laura Bini
👤  Sara Maccherini