We evaluate whether current capital expenditures (capex) reporting in the cash flows statement can be improved via disaggregation and/or reclassification of some capex as operating activities. FASB Concept Statement No. 5 suggests recurrence and risk as useful characteristics for determining disaggregation and classification in financial statements. Using a novel German dataset that provides disaggregated capex information, we examine whether these characteristics differ across capex components and provide evidence of up to five economically distinct components. These results support disaggregating capex into maintenance, expansion, rationalization, restructuring, and environmental components. Our findings, however, do not support reclassifying any capex component as operating activities, although evidence suggests capex and capex components are misclassified as investing activities. As a first step toward improving capex reporting guidance, our evidence suggests standard setters consider disaggregating and presenting capex components as supplemental information in the cash flow statement, the footnotes, or MD&A.

Data Availability: FactSet data are publicly available. The disaggregated capital expenditures data are available from the ifo Institute.

JEL Classifications: G31; M41; M48.

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