GAAP-compliant versus non-GAAP voluntary disclosures relative to critical reporting dates
Thomas D’Angelo, Marco Lam, Samir El-Gazzar, Rudolph Jacob / Financial Reporting / 1-2022
Purpose – This paper investigates the impact of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and non-GAAP voluntary disclosures on equity returns for important financial reporting dates. Design/methodology – Using hand-coded archival data, we developed 2,329 matched pairs consisting of non-GAAP (control) and GAAP (treatment) quarterly observations and compared the equity returns for each group around the earnings release and SEC filing dates. Findings – Our findings suggest that the valuation relevance of GAAP disclosing firms significantly exceeds that of non-GAAP firms in the case of earnings and cash flow surprises. These results support the notion that investors perceive GAAP-compliant disclosures as necessary, complementary information about a firm’s performance and equity value. We also reveal that the market revaluation of equity on the earnings release date significantly exceeded that on the SEC filing date. This finding confirms that the more comprehensive disclosure provided by GAAP firms on the earlier date preempted at least some of the information subsequently disclosed on the SEC filing date. Value – Extends the voluntary disclosure literature, in particular the valuation relevance of GAAP versus non-GAAP disclosures. The findings discussed in this paper are of special interest to policymakers and regulators, financial analysts, corporate managers, firm stakeholders, and academics interested in financial re-porting as they continue to study voluntary disclosure rules and practices.