SYNOPSIS

This paper offers an in-depth data-driven overview of the history and status as of 2017 of segment reporting by public entities trading in U.S. capital markets. Our analysis focuses on the perceived issues identified in the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) 2016 Invitation to Comment on the FASB's Agenda—the extent of disaggregation into reportable segments, the stability of segmentation over time, the line items disclosed, and the reconciliation of segment to consolidated totals. We document the trends in and status of segment reporting as of 2017 as another round of efforts to improve segment reporting proceeds. The paper concludes with a discussion of several unanswered questions suggested by the data.

Data Availability: Most of the data are available from public sources. The FAF user survey and FAF preparer survey are subject to a nondisclosure agreement with the Financial Accounting Foundation.

JEL Classifications: K20; K22; M40; M48.

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