Reporting on COVID-19 – or not? Annual report disclosure of the pandemic as a subsequent event Pierre Donatella

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Uploaded by Pierre Donatella     Uploaded date: November 18, 2021    
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Publication date
November 17, 2021
Paper language
Abstract
Purpose: This paper focuses on the extent to which Swedish municipalities identified and communicated risks due to the COVID-19 outbreak early on. The purpose of this paper is to explore to what extent the situational factors of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the likelihood of municipalities disclosing COVID-19 information as a subsequent event in the annual reports of 2019. Design/methodology/approach: Logistic regression models were used to estimate COVID-19 disclosure as a subsequent event. Data were handpicked from annual reports, audit reports and meeting minutes, or were retrieved from publicly available sources. Findings: Regression results indicate that municipalities issuing their annual report in a later stage of the pandemic, in regions with a higher number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, were more likely to disclose COVID-19 information as a subsequent event. However, the municipal factors used to capture the risk of a severe impact of the COVID-19 outbreak were not of major importance. In line with previous research, this study shows that political and institutional factors have explanatory power in predicting and explaining accounting disclosure choices. Originality/value: This paper contributes to research on accounting disclosures in urgent crises and on the specific topic of subsequent events in the public sector. Few studies address subsequent events in a corporate setting and, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, none do so in the context of the public sector. This paper also offers insight into how explanatory factors, previously tested under normal conditions and circumstances, influence disclosure choices in an early stage of a health crisis characterized by uncertainty regarding both occurrence and consequences.
Preferred Citation
Donatella, P., Haraldsson, M. and Tagesson, T. (2021). Reporting on COVID-19 – or not? Annual report disclosure of the pandemic as a subsequent event. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
Keywords
Annual report; Crisis; COVID-19; Disclosure; Public sector accounting; Subsequent event
Email
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Category
Financial accounting
Type of Paper
Published paper

How to get the paper

From the journal
Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

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