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COMPARABILITY OF REPORTED CASH FLOWS UNDER IFRS - EVIDENCE FROM GERMANY

Christian Kretzmann, Torben Teuteberg, Henning Zülch

DOI: 10.22495/cocv12i4csp11

Abstract

IFRS are intended to provide users with transparent and comparable financial information. However, in contrast to US GAAP and German GAAP, IFRS offer considerable flexibility regarding the classification of interest and dividends in the statement of cash flows. We explore the reporting practice of German listed firms and shed light on the determinants of classification choices which aim to increase operating cash flow (OCF). Our findings support prior research in that firms tend to increase OCF under specific circumstances, especially when they are highly leveraged and/or less profitable. Moreover, we find that industry practice plays a major role in determining firms’ reporting choices. Overall, our results cast doubt on whether the advantages of the flexibility offered under IFRS outweigh the disadvantages of reduced comparability.

Keywords: Comparability, IAS 7, Cash flow, Classification, Interest, Dividends

How to cite this paper: Kretzmann, C., Teuteberg, T., & Zülch, H. (2015). Comparability of reported cash flows under IFRS - evidence from Germany [Special issue]. Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(4), 906-927. doi:10.22495/cocv12i4csp11

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