Assessing the value of graphical presentations in financial reports

Volkov, A and Laing, G 2012, 'Assessing the value of graphical presentations in financial reports', Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 85-108.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Assessing the value of graphical presentations in financial reports
Author(s) Volkov, A
Laing, G
Year 2012
Journal name Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal
Volume number 6
Issue number 3
Start page 85
End page 108
Total pages 24
Publisher University of Wollongong, School of Accounting and Finance
Abstract The purpose of this study was to replicate the research of Davis (1989) to test the decision usefulness of different information presentations as alternatives to financial information that would normally be represented as numbers. A laboratory experiment, based upon Davis' (1989) study, was conducted using a within subject experimental design to test for information effects. The experiment consisted of two groups with fifteen subjects in each. Decision usefulness was measured from the perspective of a user's efficiency and effectiveness (operationalised as accuracy and response time) in answering questions of different levels of complexity. Evidence of the superior effectiveness and efficiency of one form of information presentation over another was found only at the lowest level of question complexity. The results of this study are not consistent across the range of findings expressed by Davis (1989) and So and Smith (2004). The model does however provide a robust tool for assessing the decision usefulness of different forms of information presentations. The restricted number of subjects and the use of surrogates may present as a limitation to generalisability. However, the nature of the financial information and the task were suitably matched to the expectations of the knowledge and experience of the student surrogates. The results suggest that tables, bar graphs and line graphs are appropriate information presentations to use in general purpose financial reports when decision performance is being measured in terms of a user's efficiency and effectiveness.
Subject Financial Accounting
Keyword(s) Information presentations
decision usefulness
tables and graphs
general purpose financial reports
Copyright notice © 2012 Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal and Authors
ISSN 1834-2000
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