In the paper, Mandatory Financial Reporting Environment and Voluntary Disclosure: Evidence from Mandatory IFRS Adoption, which was recently made publicly available on SSRN, we investigate the interaction between mandatory financial reporting environment and voluntary disclosure by employing the mandatory adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2005 as an exogenous increase to mandatory reporting to examine changes in firms’ voluntary disclosure practices. To measure voluntary disclosure, we focus on a discretionary action, namely the extent to which managers provide earnings forecasts, the most prominent performance measure that a firm supplies to investors. Ex-ante, it is unclear how the increase in reporting quality following the mandatory adoption of IFRS could influence management forecasts. On the one hand, mandatory financial reporting and voluntary disclosure can be complements, wherein the former produces verifiable information that improves the credibility of the latter and therefore encourages managers to issue more forecasts, i.e. the confirmatory role of mandatory reporting.
Prior studies document improved reporting quality following IFRS adoption, evidenced by earnings with lower manipulation and higher value relevance, timeliness, and information content. Therefore, given the evidence that IFRS improves the verifiability of earnings, the complementary view suggests that the mandatory adoption of IFRS should increase management forecasts. On the other hand, mandatory financial reporting and voluntary disclosure could also be substitutes, as private information that was previously conveyed through voluntary disclosure is now directly reflected in mandatory financial reports. Since IFRS produces more timely and value-relevant earnings numbers, the substitution effect predicts that the increased quality of financial reporting may reduce the demand for supplementary information from investors to predict future earnings. Therefore, IFRS adoption may also lead to fewer management forecasts.