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Do auditor and CFO gender matter to earnings quality? Evidence from Sweden

Damai Nasution (Department of Accounting and Logistics, Linnaeus University, Växjo, Sweden and Department of Accountancy, Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Karin Jonnergård (Department of Accounting and Logistics, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden and Department of Business Administration, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the association between auditor and chief financial officer (CFO) gender and earnings quality, utilising data from Sweden. This study also aims to examine whether interactions between auditor and CFO, which may affect a firm’s earnings quality, are associated with their gender. These aims are inspired by the notion that gender differences will be overruled by the rewards and socialisation into the occupational roles as suggested by the structural approach to gender.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a multivariate regression model to test its hypotheses. The sample consists of 976 firm-year observations covering the period 2008 to 2013.

Findings

The results show that gender of the auditor and CFO is not associated with earnings quality, and the interactions between auditors and CFOs, which may affect earnings quality, are not associated with their gender. Consequently, the results give tentative support for the structural approach in gender studies in the accounting and auditing field.

Research limitations/implications

This study indicates that future research in gender studies should consider the structural approach based on the argument of gender similarities. This approach contends that work-related behaviour of women will more resemble men, and this is caused by the socialisation process into the occupational role and the structure where they work (e.g. organisational and professional culture, work conditions, a compensation scheme, national culture, etc.) instead of gender.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding whether gender – auditor and CFO gender – is associated with firms’ earnings quality and standing whether the interactions between auditor and CFO are associated with their gender, something that, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, has not been tested previously. It also re-introduces the structural approach within the gender research in the accounting and auditing field.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions that have helped improve the quality of the paper. In addition, the authors wish to thank Professor Claus Holm and Professor Frank Thinggaard of Aarhus University and the Participants at the Danish Auditing Research Network Workshop for their helpful comments.

Citation

Nasution, D. and Jonnergård, K. (2017), "Do auditor and CFO gender matter to earnings quality? Evidence from Sweden", Gender in Management, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 330-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-06-2016-0125

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited