1 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
In Denmark, like some other EU Member States, medium-sized companies are requested to present a cash flow statement, but there are exemption rules similar to those for subgroups’ exemption to their presentation of consolidated financial statements. In a sample consisting of the paper versions of annual reports from 385 Danish non-listed medium-sized companies who were disclosing a cash flow statement as part of their annual report, we found that in a few cases, the companies were exempted to presentation of consolidated financial statements, but disclosing the cash flow statement voluntarily! Since there has been some debate between IASB and the EU Commission whether the cash flow statement should be a mandatory part of the annual reporting for non-listed medium-sized companies, we found it interesting to directly ask these voluntary disclosing companies as to their motivation. For this reason we conducted a multiple-case study, where we formulated a structured questionnaire and made partly open-ended interview with each one of the case-companies’ accountably responsible persons, i.e. one of the guys who signed the annual report. Among the majority of the answers we found a common understanding on presenting the cash flow statement because of some tradition, and not because of some clear intention of fulfilling user needs. However, do we really get a better annual report if a cash flow statement is included?