Author Information

Majd Al Jurf


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of the U.S. and global economies, notably including the losses and gains of companies of every size and type. The purpose of this research was to conduct a thorough comparative analysis of 10K financial statements from 50 prominent U.S.-based corporations from the years 2019 and 2020. The study entailed examining the “language of accounting” used in the financial statements, as well as identifying how corporate accountants used the concepts of comparable numbers, time, transparency, and context in their reports. Analysis of the language of accounting uses a linguistic lens, focusing on the primary sources of information, the use of particular terms, and the meaning of numbers in different contexts. Interpreting meaning from the language of accounting requires finding comparable numbers. The stronger the comparison, the more meaning is obtained, with less information, asymmetry results. This study specifically explored how accountants use the concept of time and how that affects the meaning of numbers from period to period. By identifying the lack of consistency between the meaning of the numbers and the structure and timing of the financial reports, this research brings transparency to financial reporting. It describes the semantics of accounting language by placing comparable numbers, time, and transparency into context. In contextualizing the data, this research allocates and directly relates the results of the COVID-19 pandemic on corporate financial data and helps consumers more accurately understand losses and gains.

Note on the Author

Majd Al Jurf conducted this research as an undergraduate student in Accounting and Finance and is beginning the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at BSU in 2022. Majd looks forward to an upcoming internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, and to a career as a Certified Public Accountant. Under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Crowley, Professor of Accounting and Finance, Majd conducted this research in Summer 2021 with the support of an Adrian Tinsley Program (ATP) grant. Majd grew up in Jordan and moved to the U.S. with her family in 2018. She was honored to be selected by the Accounting and Finance department faculty to receive the 2020 Outstanding Student Award from the Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International. Majd wishes for all undergraduate students, especially female accounting majors, to pursue undergraduate research.

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