oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Environmental reporting disclosure in South Africa : a comparative study of the expectations of selected groups of preparers and users
This study measures and compares the expectations of two different groups - the first is selected preparers of environmental reports (ERs) in South Africa (companies and professional environmental consultants), and the second is selected users of ERs (this included environmental activists, pressure groups and non-governmental organisations [NGOs] with environmentally related objectives). The study considers the perceived importance of environmental reports, the areas that are reported on and the levels of disclosure. It compares and contrasts the expectations of the above groups. The study found significant differences between the expectations of the groups. Predictably, the responses of the users showed expectations of higher levels of disclosure than those of professional environmental consultants, who in turn expected higher levels of disclosure than company respondents. Significant differences were found between the responses of the groups with regard to the importance of specific areas of environmental disclosure. The study shows that there is evidence of a gap between the expectations of the different groups, and hence that there is a need for improved environmental reporting in South Africa.
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