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Readability of PBE reporting


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The standardisation of Public Benefit Entities reporting has developed since 1992. Beneficial PBE reporting requires representations of position and performance, congruent with the Qualitative Characteristics of the conceptual framework. Non-regulation, optional adoption and sector-neutral standards led to issues of erroneous, complicated and misleading language in past reports. After calls for change, sector specific regulations and a tier system was introduced to address negative impacts on PBE reporting, and catering to different PBE types or users. This study aims to investigate if current reporting is meeting expected outcomes of regulation, specifically: Has the 2015 adoption of sector-specific standards impacted the readability of New Zealand PBE's annual reports? Data was collected by a convenience sample of PBE compliant annual reports and the corresponding sector-neutral report. These reports were converted, cleaned and measured for readability (by applying Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level and passive sentences measures). The resulting data was analysed with a Paired t-Test for a significant difference. FRE results indicated 93% of reports were tougher than ‘slightly difficult to read’. Most reports indicated a difference of one point or more, 53% of reports improved, while, 33% of reports declined after implementing the PBE regulations. This study concludes sector specific standards have not resulted in a consistent, statistically significant, difference in PBE for any readability measures studied. The use of jargon and the lack of specificity in readability measures are possible limitations of this research. However, for PBE’s to deliver efficient annual reports for users, further changes may be needed.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Benefit Entities reporting, PBE, Business, reporting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise > School of Business and Adminstration
Depositing User: Adrian France
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2018 04:01
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 07:47

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