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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Erin L. Hamilton, Rina M. Hirsch, Jason T. Rasso and Uday S. Murthy

The purpose of this paper is to examine how publicly available accounting risk metrics influence the aggressiveness of managers’ discretionary accounting decisions by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how publicly available accounting risk metrics influence the aggressiveness of managers’ discretionary accounting decisions by making those decisions more transparent to the public.

Design/methodology/approach

The experiment used a 2 × 3 between-participants design, randomly assigning 122 financial reporting managers among conditions in which we manipulated whether the company was currently beating or missing analysts’ consensus earnings forecast and whether an accounting risk metric was indicative of low risk, high risk or a control. Participants chose whether to manage company earnings by deciding whether to report an amount of discretionary accruals that was consistent with the “best estimate” (i.e. no earnings management) or an amount above or below the best estimate.

Findings

Aggressive (income-increasing) earnings management is deterred when managers believe such behavior will cause their firm to be flagged as aggressive (i.e. high risk) by an accounting risk metric. Some managers attempt to “manage” the risk metric into an acceptable range through conservative (income-decreasing) earnings management. These results suggest that by making the aggressiveness of accounting choices more transparent, public risk metrics may reduce one type of earnings management (income-increasing), while simultaneously increasing another (income-decreasing).

Research limitations/implications

The operationalization of the manipulated variables of interest may limit the study’s generalizability.

Practical implications

Users of accounting risk metrics (e.g. investors, auditors, regulators) should be cautious when relying on such risk metrics that may be of limited reliability and usefulness due to managers’ incentives to manipulate their companies’ risk scores by being overly conservative in an effort to prevent being labeled “aggressive”.

Originality/value

By increasing the transparency of the aggressiveness of accounting choices, public risk metrics may reduce one type of earnings management (income-increasing), while simultaneously increasing another (income-decreasing).

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Peipei Pan and Chris Patel

The purpose of this paper is to respond to calls in the literature to examine personality variables which may provide sharper insights into accountants’ judgments in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to respond to calls in the literature to examine personality variables which may provide sharper insights into accountants’ judgments in applying principles-based International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This paper contributes to the literature on the global convergence of financial reporting by examining the influence of an important personality variable, construal of self, on Chinese accountants’ aggressive financial reporting judgments.

Design/methodology/approach

A between-subjects quasi-experiment was applied. In total, 122 Chinese professional accountants were categorized as either independents or interdependents, on the basis of their scores on construal of self scales. Subjects made their consolidation reporting judgments in the manipulated situations based on the financial performance of the investee entity, which refers to the situation where the investee entity makes a significant profit or a significant loss in the reporting period.

Findings

Compared to interdependent accountants, independent accountants used the flexibility allowed in the principles-based standards to make more aggressive consolidation reporting judgments. Also, adoption of IFRS may not necessarily ensure consistent judgments even within China.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence of the importance of construal of self in examining accountants’ aggressive judgments. The authors suggest that it may be premature to assume that adoption of IFRS will lead to comparable financial reporting. The findings are relevant to researchers who are interested in examining personality and cultural influences on accountants’ judgments both within and across countries. Companies and organizations may incorporate appropriate strategies to recruit and train independent and interdependent accountants, particularly by addressing the influence of construal of self on aggressive financial reporting judgments.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Bryan Cataldi and Tom Downen

Private company investors operate in unique environments. Seed equity investors, which generally include venture capitalists and angel investors, often have the…

Abstract

Private company investors operate in unique environments. Seed equity investors, which generally include venture capitalists and angel investors, often have the particularly unusual role of becoming involved in the oversight of the investee company. This continuing involvement with the investee firm introduces conflicting interests: the desire to maximize the profit from the investment, but also the desire to maintain a positive relationship with the entrepreneur(s) (consistent with the theory of upper echelons/strategic management). We discuss in detail this unusual investment context and the role that accounting disclosures can have in this environment. We predict that accounting disclosures can influence the tradeoff between the profit motive and the relationship motive. Using 64 experienced angel investors as participants in a realistic experimental setting, we find that disclosures indicating conservatively biased accounting choice and lower account risk (variance) lead to angels increasing the valuation of the target firm and forgoing higher profits. Increasing the valuation serves to foster the relationship with the entrepreneur(s). Our findings have implications for entrepreneurs making choices about discretionary disclosures and for standard setters; we also inform theory related to overcoming anchoring.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-402-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

C.E. Rabin

Smith (2003) responded to the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act by suggesting that government rules and regulations cannot preserve a profession where people lack integrity. He suggests…

1182

Abstract

Smith (2003) responded to the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act by suggesting that government rules and regulations cannot preserve a profession where people lack integrity. He suggests that leaders in the profession and academe “call individuals to excellence” and “inculcate in practitioners and students ethical behaviour and personal integrity”. This study investigates whether auditors’ attitudes towards creative accounting are associated with ethical judgement, their evaluation of the quality of financial reporting and their perceptions of factors that influence preparers of financial statements to use aggressive accounting techniques. The results of this study reveal a significant relationship between auditors’ assessments of the relevance and reliability (but not ethical judgement) of reported information and their attitudes to creative accounting. Some insight is gained into auditors’ perceptions of the factors that influence preparers to use creative accounting in South Africa.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2018

FR. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas, S.J.

When FECS spins out of human intervention and regulatory control, then it can easily harm and constrain the markets as it happened on Black Friday of October 1929…

Abstract

Executive Summary

When FECS spins out of human intervention and regulatory control, then it can easily harm and constrain the markets as it happened on Black Friday of October 1929, resulting in the Great Depression, and the September–October 2008 Financial Crisis, when some 17 mega global investment banks ran out of control and lost close to trillion US dollars in market capitalization. This chapter defines, analyzes, classifies, and morally assesses occupational and corporate fraud, corruption and money-laundering, and their other evil forms. When we allow our choices to be driven by passion, choosing thereby to ignore or fail to investigate outcomes, the results are too often flawed and unintended, as the cases of Lehman Brothers, AIG, Freddie Mac, and Fannie May that collapsed around September–October 2008 would attest. While we should condemn abuses within the FECS, one can also seek to understand the origins and originating systems of fraud, corruption, and various forms of deceptions and chicanery, and search for remedial strategies for eradicating these ills of FECS. Several contemporary market cases of fraud, corruption, and bribery will be identified to illustrate the contents of this chapter.

Details

Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-187-8

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Hervé Stolowy and Gaétan Breton

Accounts manipulation has been the subject of research, discussion and even controversy in several countries including the USA, Canada, the U.K., Australia, Finland and…

4250

Abstract

Accounts manipulation has been the subject of research, discussion and even controversy in several countries including the USA, Canada, the U.K., Australia, Finland and France. The objective of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the literature and propose a conceptual framework for accounts manipulation. This framework is based on the possibility of wealth transfer between the different stake‐holders, and in practice, the target of the manipulation appears generally to be the earnings per share and the debt/equity ratio. The paper also describes the different actors involved and their potential gains and losses. We review the literature on the various techniques of accounts manipulation: earnings management, income smoothing, big bath accounting, creative accounting, and window‐dressing. The various definitions of all these, the main motivations behind their application and the research methodologies used are all examined. This study reveals that all the above techniques have common elements, but there are also important differences between them.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2020

Esra Atabay and Engin Dinç

Financial manipulation means the modification made knowingly and willfully by businesses in accounting records and transactions, in financial statements, through addition…

Abstract

Financial manipulation means the modification made knowingly and willfully by businesses in accounting records and transactions, in financial statements, through addition and subtraction, for the purpose of misleading financial information users. Financial manipulations are expected to have an effect on the decisions of financial information users. The present study was established on the basis of two main objectives. The first objective is to determine whether banks, which are Public Interest Entities (PIE), manipulate their financial statements. As for the second objective, it is to reveal whether the detected financial manipulations have an effect on investor decisions. The research conducted to achieve the first objective is based on the examination of independent audit reports for the periods between 2009 and 2017, pertaining to 45 banks registered to the Banks Association of Turkey, in terms of presented opinions. Data acquired from examined reports were subjected to content analysis via the Microsoft Excel program. In line with the second objective of the study, investor numbers for the periods between 2010 and 2017, of 13 banks, which are within the scope of BIST BANK, were included in the analysis, according to data acquired from the Central Registry Agency. Financial statements of banks, with audit reports in which a qualified opinion is expressed, were considered to have been manipulated. SPSS 22.0 statistics pack software was used to analyze whether investment demands toward these banks had an effect on decisions of domestic and foreign investors. In the analysis, frequency and One-Way ANOVA tests were used. In consequence of the analyses conducted, it was determined that, around one fifth of financial statements of PIE banks, pertaining to the periods between 2009 and 2017, were manipulated; it was mostly committed by private banks, and majority of the manipulations were committed due to free provisions made. It was also observed that manipulations did not have an effect on decisions of neither domestic nor foreign investors. The reason behind the latter is the fact that while the level of manipulations in financial statements is significant, it is not a widespread occurrence.

Details

Contemporary Issues in Audit Management and Forensic Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-636-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Qingliang Tang, Huifa Chen and Zhijun Lin

The purpose of this study is to measure the financial reporting quality of 38 main countries (regions) in the world from 2000 to 2014.

3886

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to measure the financial reporting quality of 38 main countries (regions) in the world from 2000 to 2014.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses six accounting and auditing indicators to construct a comprehensive index for the measurement of country-level financial reporting quality. To test the validity of the methodology, the index to test institutional impacts on national financial reporting quality is used.

Findings

It was found that the results are consistent with the predictions and previous studies. The evidence suggests that the quality measure in this paper is innovative and appropriate and can provide a useful tool for researchers who are concerned with financial reporting quality at the country level.

Originality/value

The study is the first in the literature to use both accounting and auditing data to construct financial reporting quality indicators. The study should help international investors assess investment risks in foreign financial markets so as to make an informed decision. In addition, the diversity of financial reporting practices documented in the paper should prompt market regulators, accounting standard setters and professional accounting bodies to reinforce the efforts on international convergence of accounting and financial reporting standards and practices.

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Lawrence P. Kalbers

The purpose of this paper is to review, critique, and integrate certain trends, events, and research streams involving earnings management, fraudulent financial reporting…

7320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review, critique, and integrate certain trends, events, and research streams involving earnings management, fraudulent financial reporting, corporate governance and ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a brief history of relevant events and trends in financial reporting for the period 1987‐2007. Within this historical context, financial reporting and earnings quality are discussed from the academic and practitioner points of view. The influence of corporate governance and the role of ethics and behavior are introduced as part of an integrated discussion of academic and practitioner viewpoints of earnings management and fraudulent financial reporting. The last section of the paper provides final observations and recommendations for future research.

Findings

The paper concludes that academic research in earnings management and fraudulent financial reporting has become increasingly narrow in addressing important issues and problems in practice.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited in its depth of analysis in each individual research stream due to the breadth of research and time period that are addressed. The implications for future research are enhanced by the integration of several streams of research relevant to earnings management and fraudulent financial reporting.

Practical implications

The paper may be useful to regulators and policy makers to better understand the significance and relevance of academic research.

Originality/value

The paper introduces and integrates ethics and behavior as important aspects for understanding earnings management and fraudulent financial reporting.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2020

Olfa Nafti, Ines Kateb and Oumaima Masghouni

The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between tax evasion and firm’s value while determining the moderating role of family management and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between tax evasion and firm’s value while determining the moderating role of family management and the ownership’s concentration in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical study employs a Panel Data set of 34 firms listed on the Tunisian Stock Exchange (TSE) for the period 2007 to 2014. Regression analysis is used to estimate the relationships proposed in the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that tax evasion has no direct effect on a firm’s value. This study highlighted the presence of a moderating effect of family management on the relationship between tax evasion and firm’s value. However, no moderating effect of the concentration of property on the mentioned relationship was detected.

Originality/value

This study represents a first empirical essay focusing on the relationship between tax evasion and firm’s value. Furthermore, it analyzes the moderating effect of some aspects of governance, such as family management and ownership’s structure, on this relationship in a Tunisian context.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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