Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bart P. Hartman


Small/private business is an important sector of the economy of the United States; however, the needs of small business are often overlooked when accounting standards are established. This has led to concerns that small businesses are required to report financial information that is not needed by the users of their financial statements, and that they are precluded from reporting information that may be more useful. The purpose of this study was to determine whether loan decisions made using financial statements prepared on a modified basis of accounting affected decisions made by bank loan officers, the primary external users of small business financial statements. The study also examined whether different levels of external certified public accountants' (CPAs) association with the statements affected the decision and whether the interaction of the basis of accounting and the external CPAs' involvement affected the decision. Participants in the study, bank loan officers, received financial statements prepared in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or financial statements prepared with departures from GAAP in four areas that have been criticized as not being applicable to small businesses. The statements were accompanied by either an audit, review, or compilation report. The study found no differences in the participants' decisions whether they received financial statements prepared in conformance with GAAP or modified GAAP basis financial statements. The results also indicate that the different levels of external CPAs' involvement with the statements did not affect the decision nor did the interaction of the two. The participants were also asked to indicate their need for additional information. The six items most requested are not normally included with financial statements. Only one participant who received the modified GAAP basis financial statements requested any of the GAAP basis information that was omitted.