16 julho 2016

Informações financeiras: tangíveis x intangíveis

The overall health of capital markets depends, in large part, on the quality and transparency of financial reporting. Trustworthy information inspires investor confidence, which in turn leads to financial stability and efficiency.

And yet, says Stanford professor of accounting Iván Marinovic, financial statements are becoming less and less relevant compared to other sources of information, such as analysts and news outlets. Perhaps in at attempt to keep pace in the information age, and to tell the whole story of increasingly complex businesses, he says, there is a creeping trend in financial disclosures away from the reliance on verifiable assets and toward more intangible elements of a business’s operations.
What is the distinction you make between hard and soft information, and why is it important?

Hard information is information, let’s say about an asset, that the firm took some costly actions to make credible to investors, like hiring an auditor or a rating agency. It’s been certified by a third party that doesn’t have a conflict of interest. Soft information, by contrast, is information that can potentially be manipulated by a manager, like accounts receivables or asset write-downs.

Another important distinction is that while some potentially soft information can become hard through actions like certification, other soft information, like the value of a brand, is by its nature uncertifiable. It can never become hard. It will always be subjective.

This is important because financial statements are becoming more and more soft. They are plagued with soft information that depends on a manager’s expectations about the future and are therefore subject to credibility issues. In other words, financial markets are relying more and more on trust, and the information is getting more and more intangible.


Fonte: aqui


We study optimal disclosure via two competing communication channels; hard information whose value has been verified and soft disclosures such as forecasts, unaudited statements and press releases. We show that certain soft disclosures may contain as much information as hard disclosures, and we establish that: (a) exclusive reliance on soft disclosures tends to convey bad news, (b) credibility is greater when unfavorable information is reported and (c) misreporting is more likely when soft information is issued jointly with hard information. We also show that a soft report that is seemingly unbiased in expectation need not indicate truthful reporting. We demonstrate that mandatory disclosure of hard information reduces the transmission of soft information, and that the aggregation of hard with soft information will turn all information soft.

Fonte: aqui

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