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The incidence of accounting fraud is increasing: is it a matter of the gender of chief financial officers?

Endah Tri Wahyuningtyas (Department of Accounting, Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Aisyaturrahmi (Department of Accounting, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 14 December 2021

Issue publication date: 30 September 2022

776

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between accounting fraud and the gender of chief financial officers (CFOs).

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a sample of US-listed firms for the period from 2000 to 2010. This paper takes this distribution of the sample observations because firms sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission as reported in Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases for fraud are more heavily weighted in the 2000 to 2010 period.

Findings

This study provides considerable evidence to suggest that firms with female CFOs are negatively associated with accounting fraud. The study also suggests that in state-owned enterprises, in which political concerns are likely to be more pronounced, the relationship between female CFOs and accounting fraud is negatively less significant. This study conducts an additional test about when and why boards’ diversity reduces accounting fraud or concerns. The result shows that the structure of gender-mixed boards is better than male-only boards. Therefore, it is important to control the activities or decisions of powerful chief executive officers.

Research limitations/implications

In general, the findings contribute to the current discussion on the necessity of increasing gender diversity as a corporate governance mechanism. This study is specifically focussed on CFOs that may directly have important implications for financial reporting and corporate governance.

Originality/value

This paper extends prior research by addressing the potential effects of female CFOs on accounting fraud. For example, Zhou et al. (2018) examine the relationship between executive compensation and the incidence of corporate fraud in Chinese listed companies from the perspective of delisting pressure. The result documents that there is no a relationship between CFO gender and accounting fraud. The results, however, find that female CFOs are negatively associated with accounting fraud; meaning that the presence of female CFOs brings positive implications for financial reporting and corporate governance.

Keywords

Citation

Wahyuningtyas, E.T. and Aisyaturrahmi, A. (2022), "The incidence of accounting fraud is increasing: is it a matter of the gender of chief financial officers?", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 1420-1442. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-10-2021-0230

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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