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Volume 16, 2016


Assessing the Electronic Invoicing Potential for Private Sector Firms in Belgium
Kevin Poel, Wim Marneffe and Willem Vanlaer
Published January 2016
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Governments around the world identify the advancement of electronic invoicing in businesses as crucial for tackling administrative burdens. This paper examines, for the first time, the potential cost savings of e-invoicing in Belgium. Our analysis shows that the total cost of invoicing for Belgian private sector businesses in 2014 amounted to €3.47 billion (0.96% of GDP) and could be reduced to €1.46 billion (0.38% of GDP) if all invoices were sent digitally. Furthermore, an analysis of both barriers and enablers of e-invoicing reveals significant concerns that remain regarding the safety of e-invoicing, although a majority of private sector businesses clearly identifies the potential efficiency gains. From our contingent valuation survey among 683 Belgian businesses, we learn that the average willingness to pay (WTP) for the required investments for implementing digital invoicing amounts to €2,380. However, the potential annual cost savings of digital invoicing for the average small business in our sample is over €7,000. Additionally, our linear regression models indicate that the WTP is positively impacted by the perceived time and reduced risk gains of digital invoicing.

Choosing Open Innovation Intermediaries through their Web-based Platforms
Barbara Aquilani, Tindara Abbate and Gandolfo Dominici
Published March 2016
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This paper examines the services provided by Open Innovation Intermediaries (OIIs) through their web-based platforms, in order to understand how OIIs can effectively support innovation seekers in their innovation processes. Relying on the existing literature exploring the roles and functions of web-based OII platforms, we carried out an exploratory and comparative qualitative study to identify the services available, to classify them by the various phases of the innovation processes in which they can be beneficial, and to link them to general roles and functions. Our analysis of the services provided by OII platforms sheds light on the dynamics of innovation seekers’ choices, and gives meaningful insights that can help improve this information and these services, so that OIIs can improve their offer in terms of complementary resources and knowledge for the innovation processes.

XBRL Extension to the Financial Statement Notes: Field-based Evidence on Unlisted Companies
Francesco Avallone, Paola Ramassa and Elisa Roncagliolo
Published June 2016
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This paper aims at providing field-based evidence on actual benefits and costs arising from mandatory XBRL extension to financial statement notes for Italian unlisted companies. In pursuit of these objectives, we conduct interviews with Italian chartered accountants involved in the production of financial information. XBRL requirements for unlisted companies in Italy enable us to assess the effects of the mandatory XBRL extension to the notes separately from its adoption for financial statements. Results suggest that the main benefit of this extension lies in an increased comparability across firms. However, this transition has not increased the number of data disclosed. On the contrary, the taxonomy might make more difficult to include voluntary disclosures and relevant information such as the statement of cash flows, thus leading to less data available for users. Our findings have relevant implications for regulators, users, and companies as well.

Financial Reporting in XBRL: First Evidence on Financial Statement Notes of Italian Unlisted Companies
Andrea Fradeani, Davide Panizzolo, Eldi Metushi
Published October 2016
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The new taxonomy 2014-11-17 mandates Italian unlisted companies to codify in XBRL also the notes to the financial statements. Building on previous literature, the aim of this study is to analyze the impact of mandatory XBRL extension to the financial statements notes on financial reporting quality of the Italian unlisted companies. We focus our analysis on the taxonomy usage and the customizations made by the filers. Our data represents the very first sample of Italian financial statements filed in fully XBRL format. Despite the significant changes affecting the process of financial statement preparation, we find that Italian unlisted companies have accepted and acknowledged the potential benefits and limits of the new taxonomy. When dividing the notes section between textual blocks and tables, we find a clear preference for the filers to use textual blocks for both, standard and abbreviated financial statements. Overall, we find that filers of both financial statement types use extensively the customizations offered by the taxonomy. Moreover, for the filers of abbreviated financial statements, we show that they tend to use not only more table customizations but also tables that are proper for the standard financial statements, thus offering higher voluntary disclosure.

Social Media for Investor Relations: A Literature Review and Future Directions
Paola Ramassa, Constanza Di Fabio
Published November 2016
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Abstract. The use of Internet has radically transformed financial reporting and investor relations (IR). More recently, the diffusion of social media (SM) as crucial information channels has opened new avenues for companies’ dialogue with capital markets, with considerable implications for accounting studies. This paper provides a critical review of the literature on SM in the accounting domain in order to shed light on the ongoing debates in the field with two main objectives. First, it aims to support future research by identifying possible directions to deepen our understanding of this emerging phenomenon. Second, it addresses some crucial issues that are particularly relevant also for companies considering how to participate in SM for IR purposes. Overall, empirical evidence highlights several benefits for companies especially if adopting a proactive approach to SM. Further research might offer even stronger contributions if accepting the challenge to encompass the complexity and distinctive features of these media.

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