The aim of this paper is to investigate the actual behaviours of companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange as regards how they report comprehensive income (CI) in their financial statement. The study is based on the consolidated financial statements of 160 groups including industrial sectors. The research, one of the first in Italy to investigate the reasons behind the choices of accounting format to represent CI, shows that the majority of the selected sample has opted for maintaining two separate documents so distinguishing net income from comprehensive income. The mixed results obtained in the study suggest as that the choice of format for the CI is probably influenced by the Italian accounting tradition rather than the characteristics of income.
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