Corporate Disclosure and Reporting Practices in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: A Cross-National Comparative Investigation 

The proposed study seeks to determine the extent of corporate compliance with financial reporting and disclosure requirements of the countries in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) against the benchmark of International Accounting Standards and in some cases, against those of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States.  These benchmarks are chosen for two reasons.  First, some of the Gulf countries under study use international accounting standards as the bases for their national standards, while others pitch their standards against those of the United States. Second, the study hopes to offer guidance to some of these that are seeking to become members of the World Trade Organization.We also would examine the relative effects of certain corporate-specific characteristics on the extent of compliance with the national corporate financial disclosure requirements. The disclosure of mandated information in the annual reports of sample firms from GCC countries will be captured over a period of three years with the help of a disclosure index. A multivariate regression analysis will be conducted to ascertain which corporate-specific characteristics are determinants of the extent by which the GCC firms comply with reporting requirements.The results of the proposed study should aid in any public policy that seeks to improve corporate financial reporting and disclosure practices, and securities regulation in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East.