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Does good corporate governance constrain cash flow manipulation? Evidence from India

Neerav Nagar (Finance and Accounting, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Mehul Raithatha (Finance and Accounting, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Article publication date: 14 November 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether firm-level corporate governance measures and regulatory reforms constrain manipulation of operating cash flows, an important firm performance indicator.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample comprises firms from an emerging market, India, with data from 2005 to 2011. The authors use the methodology given in the paper by Lee (2012) and multiple regressions.

Findings

The authors find that cash flow manipulation is likely to increase with an increase in the controlling ownership. Furthermore, board diligence and better audit fail to curb such manipulation. However, the authors do find that such manipulation has gone down in the recent years, and diligent boards constrain it, possibly due to the recent steps taken by the Indian Government for improving the corporate governance environment in India.

Practical implications

The findings can act as feedback for the regulators and policy makers. Potential investors and analysts may also benefit from the study, since they can be more vigilant about the firms’ cash flow manipulation practices and can demand better governance.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that good corporate governance makes managers substitute earnings management with cash flow manipulation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor, Don Johnson, two anonymous reviewers and Conference participants at the 2016 JCAE Annual Symposium and the 2015 IFABS Corporate Finance Conference.

Citation

Nagar, N. and Raithatha, M. (2016), "Does good corporate governance constrain cash flow manipulation? Evidence from India", Managerial Finance, Vol. 42 No. 11, pp. 1034-1053. https://doi.org/10.1108/MF-01-2016-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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