Drivers and benefits of voluntary financial disclosure by small private companies.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in many countries. In Europe, for example, small companies represent more than 90% of all companies (e.g., Lukacs, 2005). Despite the fact that these companies represent such an important portion of the economy, few studies have been examining voluntary disclosure decisions by this type of companies. Since small companies possess certain unique characteristics as compared with their larger counterparts, the general applicability of past voluntary disclosure studies to small companies is questionable. Drawing on agency, signalling and proprietary cost theory, this study investigates whether ownership, competition and accountant factors influence the decision to disclose financially sensitive information on a voluntary basis. Our results (using an e-mail questionnaire, n= 1,102) show that nearly 40% of the responding companies are not even aware of their disclosure behaviour. For the companies that are aware of their disclosure behaviour, the logistic regression analysis shows that the ownership structure of the company is the most important determinant of voluntary disclosure. This is followed by perceived competition and the type of accounting software.
Original languageDutch
Title of host publicationES Research Day
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2014


  • SME
  • Voluntary disclosure

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