Financial reporting quality and the cost of debt of SMEs

Financial reporting quality and the cost of debt of SMEs This study explores a large and detailed dataset of financial statements of Belgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the 1997–2010 period. Using accruals quality as a proxy for the quality of SMEs’ financial reports, we find that the quality of SMEs’ financial statements is negatively related to those companies’ effective interest cost. This result is also highly economically significant. The findings in this paper are consistent with the idea that earnings are important for creditors in predicting SMEs’ reimbursement capacity (i.e., future cash flows) and that less estimation error in accruals enhances earnings’ ability to predict future cash flows. We deliver evidence of an important economic benefit of financial reporting for SMEs, to wit, the potential to reduce information asymmetry between SMEs and their creditors through higher-quality financial reporting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Financial reporting quality and the cost of debt of SMEs

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Management/Business for Professionals; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-015-9645-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study explores a large and detailed dataset of financial statements of Belgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the 1997–2010 period. Using accruals quality as a proxy for the quality of SMEs’ financial reports, we find that the quality of SMEs’ financial statements is negatively related to those companies’ effective interest cost. This result is also highly economically significant. The findings in this paper are consistent with the idea that earnings are important for creditors in predicting SMEs’ reimbursement capacity (i.e., future cash flows) and that less estimation error in accruals enhances earnings’ ability to predict future cash flows. We deliver evidence of an important economic benefit of financial reporting for SMEs, to wit, the potential to reduce information asymmetry between SMEs and their creditors through higher-quality financial reporting.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 19, 2015

References

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