Measuring the quality of earnings

Khaled ElMoatasem Abdelghany (Accounting Department, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Although the academic research on the quality of earnings has been improved by presenting different approaches of measurement, there is no agreed‐upon generally accepted approach to measure the earning quality. Aims to present results of an empirical study measuring the quality of earnings on companies listed in NYSE.


Uses a sample of 90 companies listed in the NYSE. The analysis is directed to reach a general assessment of the quality of earnings if there is a complete consistency among the three approaches, and if not, the quality of earnings is questionable and needs further analysis and investigations.


The results show that different approaches of measuring the quality of earning lead to different assessment, and one industry or one company can not be labeled as having low or high quality of earning based on the result of one approach only. The results also suggest that the stakeholders before making any financing, investing decision or taking any corrective action, have to use more than one approach to assess the quality of earnings.


Indicates that financial analysts and governmental agencies dealing with companies should apply more than one measure for the quality of earning in order to have strong evidence about the level of quality before taking any corrective action or making any decision related to those companies.



ElMoatasem Abdelghany, K. (2005), "Measuring the quality of earnings", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 20 No. 9, pp. 1001-1015.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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