Non-financial information in IBEX35: Comparison of voluntary vs compulsory elaboration and assurance

Esther Ortiz, Iryna Didychuk


Purpose: Large companies are used to elaborating and verifying non-financial information voluntarily. In Spain, it is compulsorily required after Law 11/2018. These new compulsory requirements have led us to study how the previous voluntary practices have been modified and if there is a connection between the auditing and providing assurance company.

Design/methodology/approach: The studied sample compiles companies listed on IBEX 35 in 2018 to analyze the first year of application of Law 11/2018, 2018, and the previous one, the year 2017, when this information was voluntarily disclosed. We have created a database with features of non-financial information to carry out a descriptive analysis segmenting the sample by year, cross tables and chi-square tests.

Findings: Big Fours are the companies that provide assurance of non-financial information as well as audit the financial information of listed companies. Law 11/2018 has not implied important changes for the IBEX 35 companies because what was compulsorily required at first was previously voluntarily done, i.e. the majority of companies have already applied GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards when it was voluntary and also when compulsory and they keep including non-financial information in the management report. It has been also checked that auditing and providing assurance firms are specialized by sectors.

Originality/value: Currently there is an intense discussion about the future of non-financial information regulation in Europe. The expected changes will affect the Spanish regulation as a Member State. It is a need to contextualize the starting point.


Non-Financial Information, assurance, auditing, GRI, Law 11/2018, IBEX 35

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Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience