Causes and Consequences of Improvements in the Information Environment for Swedish Small and Mid-Sized Firms

Mari Paananen, Annelies Renders, Marita Blomkvist

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Abstract

We investigate improvements in the information environment and financing decisions for Swedish small and mid-sized firms. These firms are required to file audited annual reports. We create an index capturing accounting standards choices, auditor quality, and board size reflecting information environment improvements. We find an association between increased short-term financing and information environment improvements: The most common actions are to switch to a Big 4 auditor or a chartered accountant and to add independent board members as opposed to changing the accounting standards used. These improvements are associated with a switch to long-term debt and a reduction of cost of debt. Our findings are relevant for the ongoing discussion on accounting regulation for private firms both in the USA and Europe since they show that (Swedish) private firms use other ways to improve the information environment in order to access to less costly long-term bank debt besides adopting International Financial Reporting Standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting in Europe
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • private firms
  • SMEs
  • information environment
  • cost of debt
  • IFRS
  • AUDITOR CHOICE
  • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
  • EARNINGS QUALITY
  • DEBT
  • MANDATORY IFRS ADOPTION
  • ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
  • TRADE CREDIT
  • PRIVATE FIRMS
  • PUBLIC FIRMS
  • INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

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