Disaggregating Operating and Financing Activities: Implications for Forecasts of Profitability

Disaggregating Operating and Financing Activities: Implications for Forecasts of Profitability

Adam M. Esplin 

University of Alberta – Department of Accounting

Max R. Hewitt 

Indiana University – Kelley School of Business – Department of Accounting

Marlene Plumlee 

University of Utah – School of Accounting

Teri Lombardi Yohn 

Indiana University – Kelley School of Business – Department of Accounting
October 20, 2012
University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2014-09
2014, Review of Accounting Studies, 19 (1): 328-362 

Researchers, practitioners, and standard setters emphasize the importance of disaggregating financial statements into operating and financial activities. However, there is a lack of research demonstrating that this disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. In this study, we consider whether and when the operating/financial disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. Contrary to the use of an ‘aggregate’ forecasting approach by most related prior research, we first show that the operating/financial disaggregation only provides forecast improvement over a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information when the ‘components’ forecasting approach is used. We also compare the operating/financial disaggregation to the unusual/infrequent disaggregation currently required by U.S. GAAP. We find that the operating/financial disaggregation yields less accurate forecasts than the unusual/infrequent disaggregation. However, when using the ‘components’ forecasting approach, we find that the co bination of both disaggregations improves forecasts of profitability. Finally, we document that the incremental usefulness of the operating/financial disaggregation relative to a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information is a function of growth and accounting conservatism. Overall, our study provides timely evidence concerning how analysts and investors might best use the operating/financial disaggregation for forecasting profitability.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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