Articles

Why do you speak English (in your financial statements)

T. JEANJEAN, C. LESAGE, H. STOLOWY

International Journal of Accounting

2010, vol. 45, n°2, pp.200-223

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1284489


The dominance of English as a lingua franca in international business exchanges is so commonly accepted that there has been no investigation into the use of English as an external financial reporting language in non-English speaking countries. In this study we analyze the factors associated with the publication of an English-language annual report in non-English-speaking countries. Using a sample of 3,994 firms from 27 countries in 2003, we find that about 50% of the sample firms issue annual reports in English. Our findings suggest that the decision to publish an English annual report is related to the internationalization process (via foreign sales), language barriers (via language distance and language importance), governance (via ownership structure) and financial concerns (via the need for external financing, capital market size and cross-listing).


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