Title

Do Direct Cash Flow Disclosures Help Predict Future Operating Cash Flows and Earnings?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

5-2009

Abstract

Motivated by recent FASB, IASB, and CFA Institute comments, we explore the predictive value of direct method cash flow disclosures. A primary stated purpose of the direct method is to better forecast future performance. To examine this purpose, we first document that direct method line items, such as cash received from customers, are not reliably estimable using income statements and either balance sheets or indirect method statements of cash flows. When these estimation (articulation) errors are included in cash flows and earnings forecasting models, forecasting performance significantly improves. In addition, employing a future ERC (FERC) methodology, we find evidence suggesting that market participants utilize direct method disclosures for their stated purpose: to better forecast future operating performance. After conducting several tests for self-selection concerns, we conclude that the direct method is valuable to investors when forecasting future cash flows and earnings.

Discipline

Accounting | Corporate Finance

Research Areas

Corporate Reporting and Disclosure

Publication

Accounting Review

Volume

84

Issue

3

First Page

893

Last Page

935

ISSN

0001-4826

Identifier

10.2308/accr.2009.84.3.893

Publisher

American Accounting Association