The Usefulness of Funds Flow Statements: An Empirical Study of Hong Kong Banks' Loan Officers' Use of Published Company Accounts

Donleavy, Gabriel Douglas (1991) The Usefulness of Funds Flow Statements: An Empirical Study of Hong Kong Banks' Loan Officers' Use of Published Company Accounts. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Funds flow statements were part of the published accounts of most companies in most jurisdictions in the last two decades. In the USA and a few other countries, they have been replaced by cash flow statements. Before other countries, including the UK, follow the US lead, it is important to gather and assess evidence on the usefulness of the funds statement to see if the arguments for its replacement by the cash flow statement are well founded. In essence, the usefulness of the funds flow statement is a matter of its ability to enable its readers to make better, or possibly faster, judgments about a firm's changes in financial position than they would make in the absence of that statement. The research reported in this thesis addresses the usefulness of the funds statement to a group of users especially concerned with changes in the financial position of companies with whom members of the group do business. Banks employ loan officers and credit analysts to vet applications for new loans, and this group of people is therefore likely to appreciate information useful to them in assessing the ability of applicants to meet their actual and prospective financial obligations. Such a group based in Hong Kong would be exposed to accounts prepared under all kinds of different national formats and should not be unduly fixated on the format of any one nation. Such assumptions were the basis of the research. A factorial ANOVA research design was used with 116 Hong Kong bank loan officers in 15 sets to see if the provision of funds flow statements and cash flow statements in a variety of formats improved their speed or accuracy in answering simple calculation-based or judgment-based questions concerning the accounts. Order effects were controlled by shuffling question order. Accounts difficulty effects were controlled by providing the accounts in two matched sets of equivalent processing difficulty. Subject selection effects were controlled through random assignments of subjects to accounts sets. It was found that funds statements marginally improved accuracy but greatly increased processing time. Cash flow statements performed no better than funds flow statements in either respect. An information load explanation is discussed for these results.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Accounting, Banking
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-78247
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:35
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:35

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