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Bentley Shares $324,000 Grant From NASD Investor Education Foundation Focused on Making Financial Statements Easier to Understand

November 5, 2006

Bentley College Professor Jean C. Bedard, a Timothy B. Harbert Professor of Accounting, will share a $324,000 grant from the NASD Investor Education Foundation with two researchers from the University of Central Florida. The grant will fund research aimed at enhancing the comprehension, accessibility, and accuracy of financial reports for both institutional and retail investors.


The complexity of the U.S. financial reporting model has been under considerable criticism by stakeholders, and many are calling for revision, says Bedard. There's a concern that financial reports are becoming so large that they decrease the usefulness of the package. Both preparers and users agree that we need to improve the quality, integrity and transparency of information to promote cost-effective, timely investment decisions.


The study will examine whether it's possible to streamline reports and make them less redundant in order to help investors with decision-making. The researchers will analyze the value of disclosures provided with core financial statements. In particular, the research will examine disclosures provided in the management's discussion and analysis, and footnotes. The project stems from discussions with the Enhanced Business Reporting Consortium's (EBRC) Reporting Simplification Task Force.


"Our results will inform EBRC recommendations for leveling the playing field between institutional and retail investors through disclosure simplification and enhancement," Bedard explains.


The NASD Investor Education Foundation is a natural outgrowth of the NASD's longstanding mission to protect investors and uphold the integrity of the markets. The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003 by NASD, supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools and information they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. For details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation, visit


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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