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Digital Reporting Formats: Users’ Perceptions

Author(s): Erlane K Ghani | Fawzi Laswad | Stuart Tooley

Journal: International Journal of Digital Accounting Research
ISSN 1577-8517

Volume: 9;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Digital reporting formats | Decision quality | Perceptions | Preferences | Performances

This study examines users’ perceptions of three digital reporting formats: PDF, HTML and XBRL. Using public accounting practitioners as participants, this study examines users’ perceptions of different reporting formats used in disseminating financial information. This study includes examining the link between users’ perceptions and preferred reporting format and whether these perceptions are similar to the quality of their decision in the completion of a specifictask. This study follows Davis (1989, p. 320) who defined perceptions into 2: perceived usefulness as “the degree a user believes that a particular aid would enhance his performance” and perceived ease of use as “the degree to which a user believes that using a particular aid would reduce or be free of effort”. The results indicate that users’ perceptions of usefulness among the digital reporting formatsdiffer significantly. However, perceptions of ease of use are similar across the three digital reporting formats. Users’ perceptions are also found to influence their preferred reporting format. The findings also show that users’ perceptions of usefulness are analogous to their decision accuracy for HTML and XBRL formats but not for PDF format. Perceptions of ease of use, however, do not correspond to actual cognitive effort for all reporting formats. The results indicate that if more advanced forms of digital reporting are to be encouraged, there is also the need for users to be made more aware of the benefits to be gained from the different forms of reporting.

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