Assessment of the Financial Reporting Quality of South African and Indian Listed Companies


  • Carla Haarburger University of the Witwatersrand
  • Yaeesh Yasseen University of the Witwatersrand
  • Irfaan Omarjee University of the Witwatersrand
  • Zakiyyah Varachia University of the Witwatersrand



decision usefulness, developing economies, financial reporting quality, India, South Africa.


Purpose/objectives: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the quality of financial reporting in South Africa and India. The accounting profession has been placed in the spotlight as a result of the high number of public failures and corporate collapses. The importance of high-quality financial reporting has been demonstrated not only by past corporate failures, but also due to the scarce level of capital that is required to be allocated within capital markets.

Design/methodology/approach: The study employed a 21-index scorecard developed by Beest, Braam, and Boelens (2009) to score the application of the qualitative characteristics in the financial statements of 50 entities from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The entities were selected based on the highest market capitalisation entities for the 2017 year-end.

Findings: The main finding of this study is that South African companies apply the qualitative characteristics of financial reporting to a higher degree than Indian companies. However, timeliness was a characteristic where India outperformed South Africa.

Originality/value: Studies have focused on the type of information presented in annual reports rather than on the quality of information. The need for high quality information is imperative, given the role played in capital allocation particularly in emerging economies. As such, the study contributes to the body of knowledge regarding the quality of financial information with a focus on emerging economies.


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How to Cite

Haarburger, Carla, Yaeesh Yasseen, Irfaan Omarjee, and Zakiyyah Varachia. 2020. “Assessment of the Financial Reporting Quality of South African and Indian Listed Companies”. Southern African Business Review 24 (December):24 pages.



Received 2020-05-13
Accepted 2020-08-25
Published 2020-12-08