Has Business Segment Disclosures under SFAS No. 131 Improved in the Last Ten Years? (2013-2004)

Robert D Bell


The purpose of this paper is to determine if business segment disclosures under SFAS No. 131 has improved in ther last ten years. The paper analyzes ten years (2013-2004) of segment disclosures of 200 of the Fortune 500 listed companies reporting under SFAS No. 131. For each of these ten years, the anlysis specifically includes the number of segments reported; the number of companies which changed the name of one or more of their segments; the actual number of line-items reported for each segment; the general catagory of line-items reported for each segment; the number of geographic areas reported; the names of the geographic areas reported; and the names of the countries reported;. The paper finds that segment disclosure practices have remained virtually unchanged over this ten year period -- thus calling into question whether SFAS No. 131 is truly achieving its purpose, as the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) stated it is in its January of 2013 post-implimentation review (PIR) of SFAS No. 131.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/afr.v4n2p78


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