Earnings presentation effects on manager reporting choices and investor decisions

Robert Libby, Scott A. Emett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


We survey recent (mainly US) research on the effects of earnings presentation attributes on manager and user behavior. The literature we discuss relates to three primary earnings presentation attributes: (1) disaggregation (vertical and horizontal), (2) location (recognition vs. disclosure, which statement for recognized items, and within statement classification, labeling, and subtotals), and (3) narrative attributes (location of key amounts within narratives, readability, medium, and timing of disclosure). We show that disaggregation operates mainly by directly affecting information content. Location operates mainly by indirectly affecting information content through changes in managers' actions and by affecting ease of processing. Narrative presentation attributes operate mainly by affecting ease of processing. These differences in mechanisms determine the implications of the presentation attributes for contracting and valuation uses of accounting information. They also have implications for future research and standard setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-438
Number of pages29
JournalAccounting and Business Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • classification shifting
  • disaggregation
  • financial statement presentation
  • location
  • market efficiency
  • narrative disclosures
  • recognition vs. disclosure
  • voluntary disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting


Dive into the research topics of 'Earnings presentation effects on manager reporting choices and investor decisions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this