This study reports on an empirical investigation of the characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs of preparers of external financial reports in a less developed country. The basic research instrument consisted of a questionnaire in two parts: the first addressing attitudes of professional accountants toward annual financial reports generally; the second, more specifically measuring the importance of the information items to preparers. Our results suggest that the independent auditor is the most influential group in decision-making processes. As in many developed countries, the auditor’s report and the regulatory framework are considered to have a major influence on financial reporting practices. Preparers believe that a lack of knowledge of external users’ needs and lack of reporting standards and accepted accounting principles are the main concerns with corporate financial reports in Iran. The results showed that the balance sheet, auditors’ report, and income statement in that order are the three most important parts of the annual reports.
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