Assurance of sustainability reports : impact on report users' perceptions of reliability

Hodge, Kristy, Subramaniam, Nava and Stewart, Jenny 2007, Assurance of sustainability reports : impact on report users' perceptions of reliability, in AFAANZ 2007 : Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, pp. 1-44.

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Title Assurance of sustainability reports : impact on report users' perceptions of reliability
Author(s) Hodge, Kristy
Subramaniam, Nava
Stewart, Jenny
Conference name Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand. Conference (2007 : Gold Coast, Qld.)
Conference location Gold Coast, Qld.
Conference dates 1-3 July 2007
Title of proceedings AFAANZ 2007 : Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference
Publication date 2007
Start page 1
End page 44
Keyword(s) sustainability
corporate social responsibility
assurance
environmental and social report audit
Summary This study examined whether (1) assurance, (2) the level of assurance (reasonable vs. limited), and (3) the type of assurance provider (accountant vs. specialist consultant) affect users’ perceptions of reliability of sustainability reports. Based on an experimental questionnaire, we find that the provision of assurance improves report users’ perceived reliability of the environmental and social information. There were no significant main effects between the two experimental factors; level of assurance and type of assurance provider, and report users’ perceptions of the reliability of sustainability reports. However, a significant interaction was found between the two experimental factors and report users’ perceptions of reliability of such reports. More specifically, report users placed more confidence in the sustainability reports where the level of assurance provided is reasonable (high), and when such assurance is provided by a top tier accountancy firm, rather than when the assurance is provided by a specialist consultant. No such difference was found when the level of assurance provided was limited (low) for either type of assurance provider group. The results of this study thus highlight the relevance of assurance for sustainability reporting.
Language eng
Field of Research 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards
HERDC Research category E3.1 Extract of paper
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018590

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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