Faculty Publications


Does graph design matter to CPAs and financial statement readers.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Todd M. Shank

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2008

Date Available

February 2012


We asked CPAs and financial statement readers if they believe distorted graphs influence judgments and if they think there is a need for standards governing their presentation and attestation in annual reports. We consider these important questions because decades of studies document that distorted graphs commonly appear in annual reports even though there is considerable evidence that such graphs influence readers’ judgments. Our results show that professionals are aware of the potential influence of graphical distortion, believe that standards are needed to assist in preparing graphs of financial information to be included in annual reports, and agree that auditors should be required to provide assurance about the accuracy of such graphs.


Full-text article is also available at the Journal of Business & Economics Research, (2008) 6(5), 111-124. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Western Academic Press

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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