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Title: Digital reporting by small private companies in the UK
Authors: Alkhatib, Esraa
Advisors: Collis, J
De Cesare, S
Keywords: Digital reporting at HMRC;Digital services by companies house;Costs and benefits of digital reporting;E-government initiatives;Reducing administrative burdens on small companies
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Abstract This thesis investigates the factors that affect the take-up of statutory digital reporting of statutory accounts and returns to the tax authority (HM Revenue and Customs) and voluntary digital reporting to the company registry (Companies House) by small private companies in the UK. In doing so, it identifies the costs and benefits of this innovation from the perspectives of the filers and those using the digital information. The first stage of the study comprised 16 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders: HMRC, Companies House, the external iXBRL consultant at HMRC, filing software suppliers, and accountants in business and practice. The interview data was analysed thematically, aided by NVivo. The second stage involved an online survey of 343 ACCA members working in small companies or in practices with small company clients. The survey data were analysed using the partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) method. As hypothesised, the results show a significant positive association between digital reporting and the company having the technological competence and between digital reporting and support for this from top management. As predicted, there is evidence of a significant negative association between digital reporting and the complexity of the process, and between digital reporting and the cost of technology. However, the study finds no evidence of a significant association between digital reporting and compatibility of digital reporting with the company’s accounting system, statutory requirements with government, or network effects. The results provide evidence of a significant positive association between digital reporting and benefits to filers, and between digital reporting and benefits to those using the digital corporate data. The latter association is mediated by the digital search and data services provided by Companies House. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first study to investigate digital reporting to HMRC after it became mandatory for small companies in the UK. The study contributes to the emerging literature by extending our knowledge of the costs and benefits of digital reporting by small companies. It contributes to theory by developing and validating a theoretical model of the factors affecting the take-up of digital reporting and by extending the model to provide further understanding of this technology. The results should be of interest to the directors of small companies and their accountants. They will also be of interest to policy makers seeking to reduce the administrative burdens on smaller entities in the UK and to regulators in other jurisdictions planning for digital reporting initiatives.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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