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1 – 10 of 652
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Weifeng He, Liping Chen and Wei Liu

Currently, most research studies focus on ownership reforms and governance reforms, while only a few research studies focus on management system innovations. Based on an…

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, most research studies focus on ownership reforms and governance reforms, while only a few research studies focus on management system innovations. Based on an evolution of state-owned enterprises’ (SOEs) performance appraisal systems, this paper investigates the influence of performance appraisal system on earnings management.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a natural experiment that central government-owned enterprises (CGOEs) carried out economic value-added performance appraisal (EVA-PA) in 2010, the authors adapt difference-in-difference method to analyze the relationship between EVA-PA and earnings management choice. Furthermore, the authors consider the situation which contained financial status, separation between decision-making rights and decision-control rights, separation between ownership and control and industrial characteristics.

Findings

The research finds that after carrying out EVA-PA, CGOEs prefer accrual-based earnings management to real earnings management, and there is substitution effect between the two types of earnings management. Moreover, further research studies reveal that enterprises suffering losses in the previous year and featuring higher separation between decision-making rights and decision-control rights and higher separation between ownership and control have stronger earnings management motive under EVA-PA. In contrast, enterprises achieving satisfactory financial performance in the previous year and engaging in businesses within protective industry have weaker earnings management motive under EVA-PA. After the implementation of EVA-PA, accrual-based earnings management and real earnings management both impair operating performances of CGOEs.

Originality/value

Theoretically, this paper enriches research studies on earnings management from the perspective of incentive mechanism and expands research studies on economic consequences of EVA-PA. In addition, it validates the relationship between the two types of earnings management. As an important mechanism of corporate management and control, performance appraisal system is an important part for establishing ownership management system and improving internal management system of SOEs.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2022

Dante Baiardo C. Viana Jr, Isabel Lourenço and Ervin L. Black

The purpose of this study is to examine the association between financial distress and accruals-based earnings management in emerging markets, and the role that auditors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the association between financial distress and accruals-based earnings management in emerging markets, and the role that auditors play in that association.

Design/methodology/approach

This study relies on a sample of 33,455 firm-year observations from 20 emerging markets, covering a large period of analysis of 20 years. A multivariate analysis is performed by considering the level of financial distress as the dependent variable, and the accruals-based earnings management and dummies for the type of auditor as the main independent ones.

Findings

The authors predict and find empirical evidence that firms facing greater financial distress engage in income-increasing accruals-based earnings management in emerging markets, and that such engagement is lower in firms audited by Big 4 firms compared to those audited by non-Big 4 auditors. The authors also find significant differences across Big 4 audit firms in their role of constraining income-increasing earnings management strategies in firms with high levels of financial distress.

Originality/value

The study adds to previous literature by investigating the association between financial distress and accruals-based earnings management in a comprehensive sample of 20 emerging markets, by providing important overall cross-country empirical evidence that has not been addressed by previous literature. The authors also bring new knowledge by discussing the role played by the Big 4 audit firms in limiting earnings management practices by firms with high levels of financial distress. Such a limitation serves as an important external corporate governance mechanism to restrain managers’ opportunistic behaviour in firms facing financial distress – especially in emerging economies characterized overall by institutional voids.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Feng Jui Hsu and Yu-Cheng Chen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among corporate social responsibility (CSR), analyst forecast accuracy and firms’ earnings management

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among corporate social responsibility (CSR), analyst forecast accuracy and firms’ earnings management behavior using US-based firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini (KLD) database to construct CSR performance scores and divide all firms into ten groups from high to low as a proxy for CSR performance. The authors obtained an initial sample of 33,364 firm-year observations from 1991 to 2012. Filtering for records which exist in the KLD, Compustat, and Center for Research in Security Prices databases lefts a total of 16,807 firm-year observations and CSR evaluation reports for 5,896 firms.

Findings

The authors find that high CSR-score firms have lower rates of analyst forecast error than their low CSR-score counterparts, suggesting that CSR performance is a useful means of forecasting earnings. Furthermore, firms with better CSR performance have significantly lower accrual-based earnings management behavior. However, the level of the manipulation behavior of real earnings management (REM) activities increased significantly in better CSR firms, suggesting that high CSR-score firms substituted REM methods for accrual-based methods. REM methods are consistent with the stipulations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and allow high CSR-score firms to better manipulate earnings behavior. These results hold after the authors control for various factors related to firm financial characteristics.

Originality/value

Overall, the findings have important implications for investors and regulators to more easily assess firms’ earnings manipulation behavior and earnings stability under CSR performance and financial information in financial markets.

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Dante Baiardo Cavalcante Viana Jr, Isabel Maria Estima Costa Lourenço, Marília Ohlson and Gerlando Augusto S F de Lima

This study investigates how the association between national culture and earnings management compares between developed and emerging countries.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates how the association between national culture and earnings management compares between developed and emerging countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis relies on a sample of 6,313 firm-year observations from 11 emerging markets and 27,605 firm-year observations from 22 developed countries. The authors use ordinary least squares regression methods to test the hypotheses of the study.

Findings

Based on Hofstede's (2011) cultural dimensions, the authors find that firms from countries with a higher level of uncertainty avoidance and individualism are less likely to engage in earnings management, but the effect of uncertainty avoidance (individualism) is more (less) pronounced in the emerging countries. Moreover, the authors demonstrate that firms from emerging (developed) countries with higher levels of power distance and masculinity are less (more) likely to engage in earnings management. Finally, the authors find evidence of a trade-off between accruals-based and real earnings management in firms from countries with greater long-term orientation and an indulgence cultural dimension.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature by theoretically discussing and empirically analysing the role that developed and emerging countries' development plays on the effect of national culture on earnings management.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Kais Baatour, Hakim Ben Othman and Khaled Hussainey

The study aims to examine the effect of multiple directorships on accrual-based earnings management and real earnings management. It analyses whether earnings management

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Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to examine the effect of multiple directorships on accrual-based earnings management and real earnings management. It analyses whether earnings management practices in the Saudi context increase or decrease with the average number of multiple directorships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the approach by Roychowdhury (2006) to capture the level of real earnings management and uses the cross-sectional model by Jones (1991) to measure accrual-based earnings management.

Findings

The paper provides partial evidence supporting the “busyness” hypothesis where earnings management practices increase with the number of multiple directorships. The evidence shows that multiple directorships have a positive and significant effect on real earnings management in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, we find no significant impact of multiple directorships on accrual-based earnings management.

Originality/value

This is the first study that empirically investigates the relationship between multiple directorships and earnings management in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The paper contributes to the limited literature on multiple directorships in developing countries by examining their impact on opportunistic real earnings management.

Article
Publication date: 31 July 2014

Francesco Capalbo, Alex Frino, Vito Mollica and Riccardo Palumbo

Opposition to transnational calls for the adoption of accrual-based accounting in the public sector may stem from arguments that it is associated with poor earnings

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Abstract

Purpose

Opposition to transnational calls for the adoption of accrual-based accounting in the public sector may stem from arguments that it is associated with poor earnings quality. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether state owned enterprises (SOEs) operating under accrual-based accounting manage their earnings, whether it is more prevalent vis-à-vis privately owned enterprises (POEs) and the conditions under which it is more likely to occur.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper measures earnings management for a large sample of unlisted Italian SOEs and POEs using a framework developed by Stubben (2010). The authors use regression analysis to estimate the variables which predict abnormal accruals including firm size, leverage and profitability.

Findings

The authors find no evidence that the level of state ownership (SO) is positively correlated with accrual-based earnings management. The authors also provide evidence that earnings management by SOEs decreases with firm size and increases with profitability.

Research limitations/implications

While the study is the first to examine earnings management in a public sector accrual accounting environment for a sample of European firms, namely Italian firms, the authors call for more research into this issue examining public entities in other European Union (EU) member states or public entities other than SOEs.

Practical implications

The EU recently introduced a new transnational accounting directive in which it prescribes the preparation of financial statements based on accrual accounting for all European public sector entities, arguing that it reduces the window dressing that is allowed by cash accounting. Since Italian SOEs already prepare their accounts on an accruals-basis, by analysing their accounting behaviour the authors are able to determine the variables which predict when earning management is more likely to occur in a public sector accrual accounting environment, and therefore the authors provide guidance which may be useful in shaping the transition process from cash accounting to accrual accounting by identifying the types of entities whose accounts should be subject to greater regulatory scrutiny. A better understanding of the relation between SO and earnings management will provide insight into public sector corporate governance and aid in the acceptance of transnational regulation that would otherwise significantly alter current accounting practices and possibly be opposed at a national level.

Originality/value

Earnings management in a public sector accrual accounting environment had been analysed only for Chinese listed companies. The authors extend previous analysis to a sample of European (Italian) SOEs which are unlisted. The authors also extend previous work by determining the characteristics of firms which manage their earnings.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Justin Mindzak and Tao Zeng

Unlike firms listed in the USA, many large firms in Canada belong to business groups organized as pyramids. A pyramidal structure refers to a business group that consists…

Abstract

Purpose

Unlike firms listed in the USA, many large firms in Canada belong to business groups organized as pyramids. A pyramidal structure refers to a business group that consists of a set of enterprises or other entities and displays a top-down chain of control. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between pyramid ownership and earnings management.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an empirical study using a sample of 165 Canadian listed firms from 2010 to 2015. The impact of pyramid ownership on both accrual-based and real earnings management is examined.

Findings

The findings show that pyramid-affiliated firms engage in less accrual-based and real earnings management than non-pyramid-affiliated firms. The results further show that the divergence between control rights and cash flow rights of the controlling shareholders in the pyramid-affiliated firms is positively related to real earnings management. Moreover, the results highlight that intra-group transactions (other than internal financing) among pyramid-affiliated firms lead to higher level of both accrual-based and real earnings management, but internal financing is negatively associated with real earnings management. Overall, this study provides the evidence which indicates that pyramid ownership structure and earnings management are related to each other.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the earnings management literature by studying the impact of pyramid ownership structure on earnings management, especially real earnings management.

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Li‐Chin Jennifer Ho, Chao‐Shin Liu and Bo Ouyang

Barton and Simko argue that the balance sheet information would serve as a constraint on accrual‐based earnings management. This paper aims to extend their argument by…

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Abstract

Purpose

Barton and Simko argue that the balance sheet information would serve as a constraint on accrual‐based earnings management. This paper aims to extend their argument by examining whether the balance sheet constraint increases managers' propensity to use either downward forecast guidance or real earnings management as a substitute mechanism to avoid earnings surprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Following Barton and Simko, the paper uses the beginning balance of net operating assets relative to sales as a proxy for the balance sheet constraint. The argument is that because of the articulation between the income statement and the balance sheet, previous accounting choices that increase earnings will also increase net assets and therefore the level of net assets reflects the extent of previous accrual management. Models from Matsumoto and Bartov et al. are used to measure forecast guidance. Following Rochowdhury and Cohen et al., a firm's abnormal level of production costs and discretionary expenditures are used as proxies of real earnings management. The empirical analysis is conducted based on the 1996‐2006 annual data for a sample of nonfinancial, nonregulated firms.

Findings

The paper finds that firms with higher level of beginning net operating assets relative to sales are more likely to guide analysts' earnings forecasts downward, and more likely to engage in real earnings management in terms of abnormal increases in production costs and abnormal reductions in discretionary expenditures.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, the paper's evidence suggests that managers turn to real earnings management or downward forecast guidance as a substitute mechanism to avoid negative earnings surprises when their ability to manipulate accruals upward is constrained by the extent to which net assets are already overstated in the balance sheet.

Originality/value

This study adds to prior literature that examines how managers trade off different mechanisms used to meet or beat analysts' earnings expectations. It also contributes to the extant literature by providing further insights on the role of balance sheet information in the process of managing earnings and/or earnings surprises.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Tao Zeng

– The purpose of this paper is to examine earnings management around tax rate reduction in the wake of the 2007 corporate tax reform in China.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine earnings management around tax rate reduction in the wake of the 2007 corporate tax reform in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an empirical work using a sample of listed Chinese real estate firms.

Findings

This study finds that firms managed earnings, including accrual-based earnings management and real earnings management, to decrease income in the fourth quarter of 2007, and to increase income in the first quarter of 2008. It suggests that the real estate firms were shifting income from the fourth quarter of 2007, when the statutory tax rate was 33 per cent, to the first quarter of 2008, when the statutory tax rate was 25 per cent, and therefore saved on tax payments. It also finds that corporate ownership structures, including ownership concentration and state ownership, affect earnings management. In the fourth quarter, state ownership is negatively associated with accrual-based earnings management, while ownership concentration is positively related to both accrual and real earnings management. In the first quarter, state ownership is negatively related to real earnings management.

Social implications

Tax authority and policy makers might be interested in evidence on earnings management around tax rate reduction. Changes in tax rates increase the incentives to shift income, which may warrant a closer scrutiny by both outside auditors and tax auditors.

Originality/value

This paper is the first study that relates to both accrual-based earnings management and real earnings management to corporate tax rate changes by showing that firms manipulate income upward in the low-tax-rate periods and downward in the high-tax-rate periods.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2022

Apostolos Christopoulos, Ioannis Dokas, Christos Leontidis and Eleftherios Spyromitros

This paper attempts to investigate the effect of corruption on the real and accrual earnings management of target firms in the process of mergers and acquisitions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to investigate the effect of corruption on the real and accrual earnings management of target firms in the process of mergers and acquisitions.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample includes target firms from the European area that participate in mergers or acquisitions announced during 2010–2020. The preliminary empirical part estimates the level of earnings management during the period two years before the deal's announcement to identify whether the sample follows the manipulation behavior that the literature suggests for target firms. The primary empirical analysis focuses on the impact of corruption on real and accrual-based earnings management proxies, employing regression models and two alternative proxies for corruption. The existing literature points out that the combination of low levels of corruption and an integrated legal system reduces earnings manipulation.

Findings

The findings provide strong evidence for systematic downwards accounting manipulation practices, whereas the findings for real earnings management are not significant. The findings of the main empirical part show that corruption is positively associated with accrual-based manipulation and negatively related to real earnings management. In essence, in economies with a high level of transparency, managers adopt the manipulation of operating activities as a less detectable practice of earnings management instead of engaging in accounting procedures.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature highlighting the diversification of these firms' manipulation strategies according to the national level's corruption status.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

1 – 10 of 652