Women Write Better Annual Reports

/Women Write Better Annual Reports

Women Write Better Annual Reports

By | 2017-08-18T16:52:00+00:00 March 25th, 2014|Research Insights|6 Comments
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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2017)

Are Female CFOs Better at Improving Readability of the Annual Reports?

Abstract:

Is the degree of “plain English” (or readability) of the annual reports a function of CFO characteristics? Using the hand collected background information of 6,278 unique CFOs in Execucomp firms, combined with BoardEx data and the quantified readability measures of annual reports, we find supporting evidence. Other things being equal, annual reports supervised by female CFOs use less complicated words in the texts and use more detailed numerical presentation in the tables. Switching from male to female CFOs significantly reduce information asymmetry, which may suggest clearer written communication skills of the female CFOs. We also document that readability is affected by other qualifications such as CPA and MBA.

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About the Author:

After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned a PhD, and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. Dr. Gray has published four books and a number of academic articles. Wes is a regular contributor to multiple industry outlets, to include the following: Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ETF.com, and the CFA Institute. Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a BS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.