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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Maxine Clark and Clare Roberts

By introducing three specialized web portals, the Department for Work and Pensions facilitated a skills cascade, which transformed the HR department and gave line managers…

Abstract

By introducing three specialized web portals, the Department for Work and Pensions facilitated a skills cascade, which transformed the HR department and gave line managers responsibility for the training needs of their teams. Maxine Clark, DWP and Clare Roberts, Academee explain how changes were made.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 5 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Naser Makarem and Clare Roberts

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether earnings boosts before the year end trigger earnings management. It examines whether firms that substantially…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether earnings boosts before the year end trigger earnings management. It examines whether firms that substantially outperformed their last year earnings during the first three quarters push their earnings down to avoid reporting earnings boosts.

Design/methodology/approach

Regression analysis is used to compare earnings management of firms with earnings boosts and other firms.

Findings

The results indicate that firms outperforming their last year results by the end of the third quarter manipulate their earnings downwards by means of real activities manipulation, while they do not indicate income-decreasing accruals management. It is also found that consistent with the prominent shift from accruals management to real activities manipulation, accruals management is less costly which justifies why it is used for downward manipulation.

Research limitations/implications

The results are limited to one single earnings benchmark i.e. last year earnings. Further research may individually or collectively examine other benchmarks including analysts' forecasts.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that users should be more vigilant of firms exceeding their last year interim results, as they could be involved in downward earnings management.

Originality/value

This study documents earnings management in a new setting where earnings boosts before the year end trigger downward manipulation of real activities.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 March 2018

Hazem Ramadan Ismael and Clare Roberts

This study aims to identify the factors that lead non-financial companies listed in the UK to use an internal audit function (IAF) as a monitoring mechanism. Although the…

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7609

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the factors that lead non-financial companies listed in the UK to use an internal audit function (IAF) as a monitoring mechanism. Although the use of an IAF in the UK is voluntary, no prior research has examined the drivers for using one.

Design/methodology/approach

Financial and non-financial data were collected from the annual reports of 332 UK non-financial companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Main Market. Univariate tests and multivariate logistic regression tests were used to test the research hypotheses. A theoretical framework based on both agency theory and transaction cost economics (TCE) theory was used to explain the economic factors affecting the use of an IAF.

Findings

The study provides evidence that firm size, level of internal risks, agency problem between owners and managers and existence of an effective audit committee are associated with the existence of an IAF. Thus, the need to have strong internal control and risk management systems and to reduce both internal and external agency costs drives companies to have an IAF. These results suggest the importance of IAF as an internal corporate governance tool and the effectiveness of UK governance regulations in monitoring the effectiveness of internal control systems.

Practical implications

Given the importance of the IAF’s corporate governance role, the study provides some policy implications. Regulators should pay more attention to the issue of maintaining an IAF, especially by large companies, the relationship between the IAF and other governance parties, especially the audit committee, and the disclosure of more relevant information about the IAF’s characteristics and practices.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the factors affecting the existence of the IAF within the UK’s distinctive regulatory approach of “comply or disclose reasons”. Furthermore, it provides a theoretical framework that explains how both the agency theory and TCE theory can interpret the adoption of internal audit.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Suzan Abed, Basil Al-Najjar and Clare Roberts

This paper aims to investigate empirically the common alternative methods of measuring annual report narratives. Five alternative methods are employed, a weighted and…

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1696

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate empirically the common alternative methods of measuring annual report narratives. Five alternative methods are employed, a weighted and un-weighted disclosure index and three textual coding systems, measuring the amount of space devoted to relevant disclosures.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors investigate the forward-looking voluntary disclosures of 30 UK non-financial companies. They employ descriptive analysis, correlation matrix, mean comparison t-test, rankings and multiple regression analysis of disclosure measures against determinants of corporate voluntary reporting.

Findings

The results reveal that while the alternative methods of forward-looking voluntary disclosure are highly correlated, important significant differences do nevertheless emerge. In particular, it appears important to measure volume rather than simply the existence or non-existence of each type of disclosure. Overall, we detect that the optimal method is content analysis by text-unit rather than by sentence.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the extant literature in forward-looking disclosure by reporting important differences among alternative content analyses. However, the decision regarding whether this should be a computerised or a manual content analysis appears not to be driven by differences in the resulting measures. Rather, the choice is the outcome of a trade-off between the time involved in setting up coding rules for computerised analysis versus the time saved undertaking the analysis itself.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1991

Clare B. Roberts

Most extant surveys of mainland European companies′ disclosure ofsocial and environmental data are now somewhat dated. One hundred andten companies across five countries…

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2902

Abstract

Most extant surveys of mainland European companies′ disclosure of social and environmental data are now somewhat dated. One hundred and ten companies across five countries are surveyed, illustrated with examples of practice, and country differences are explored.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Sonja Gallhofer, Jim Haslam, Elizabeth Monk and Clare Roberts

Seeks to extend debates about the emancipatory potential of the internet by commenting on Sikka's reflections (in this issue) on the papers by Gallhofer et al. and by…

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1126

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to extend debates about the emancipatory potential of the internet by commenting on Sikka's reflections (in this issue) on the papers by Gallhofer et al. and by Paisey and Paisey (both papers in this issue).

Design/methodology/approach

Response to Sikka's reflections, with an elaboration of the intersection of the critical and postmodern in this work as a means of extending the debate.

Findings

The benefits of the internet vis‐à‐vis counter accounting and emancipatory change should not be taken for granted; rather the internet is another site of struggle in which to intervene. The internet, however, does alter opportunities.

Practical implications

Insights for a counter accounting practice on the net.

Originality/value

Extends debates over the internet and online reporting in facilitating emancipatory accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Sonja Gallhofer, Catriona Paisey, Clare Roberts and Heather Tarbert

Men and women are now being admitted to membership of the major UK professional accountancy bodies in approximately equal numbers. This trend has focused attention on the…

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3613

Abstract

Purpose

Men and women are now being admitted to membership of the major UK professional accountancy bodies in approximately equal numbers. This trend has focused attention on the ways in which professional accountants combine careers and family life, particularly when women have children. Recognising the limitations inherent in the widely‐used term “work‐life balance” that polarises life and work, this paper instead seeks to consider the “work‐lifestyle choices” made by female accountants. Work‐lifestyle choices refer to the ways in which people place different emphases on the work and private spheres, according to their individual circumstances. Feminist researchers have argued that women's work‐lifestyle choices have been limited by structural constraints. Over the past decade, a newer argument, preference theory, has emerged, suggesting that women's choices owe less to inequalities in the workplace and more to the preferences of individuals, particularly, but not exclusively, women. The purpose of this paper is to explore the work‐lifestyle choices made by female members of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), in terms of both structural constraints and preferences, in order to present a more holistic understanding of the work‐lifestyle choices made by this particular group of well‐educated, middle‐class women.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines feminist theory and preference theory in the context of the results of a questionnaire survey of female members of ICAS and 14 interviews with female members of ICAS.

Findings

The responses of these accountants suggest that, while structural constraints are evident, many work‐lifestyle choices were driven by a desire to spend more time with children, and by women's perceptions of their mothering role. Most women, while recognising the opportunities forgone, were nonetheless happy with the choices that they had made.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by examining the voices of female accountants in order to explore how perceived gender roles impact on career decisions and work‐lifestyle choices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Rania Kamla and Clare Roberts

This paper aims to examine GCC companies' use of visual images to interplay modernity and globalism with tradition, Islam and local culture. The analysis aims to bring…

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2563

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine GCC companies' use of visual images to interplay modernity and globalism with tradition, Islam and local culture. The analysis aims to bring attention to the way that businesses in the GCC use visual images to engage with or influence debates in their societies concerning the tension between modernity, globalisation and traditional values in the Arab‐Islamic world.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is critical and discursive and based on a close reading of the visual images reported in the 2005 annual reports of companies listed on GCC stock markets.

Findings

The analysis suggests that GCC companies on many occasions used visual images to depict and represent the possibility of a successful profitable, modern and global business that is also sympathetic to tradition and operates within the framework of Islamic principles.

Originality/value

While visual images are increasingly used in companies' annual reports they have been largely ignored in accounting research. Furthermore, when this research manifests, it has been concerned with investigating Anglo‐American and Western contexts. This paper instead emphasises the significance of researching the use of visual images in a variety of contexts and locations. It critically and contextually explores the use of visual images in a largely unexplored, non‐Western and a significantly Islamic context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Sonja Gallhofer, Jim Haslam, Elizabeth Monk and Clare Roberts

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate upon the notion of counter accounting, to assess the potentiality of online reports for counter accounting and hence for counter…

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5271

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate upon the notion of counter accounting, to assess the potentiality of online reports for counter accounting and hence for counter accounting's emancipatory potential as online reporting, to assess the extent to which this potential is being realised and to suggest ways forward from a critical perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

There are several components to a critical interpretive analysis: critical evaluative analysis, informed to some extent by prior literature in diverse fields; web survey; questionnaire survey; case study.

Findings

Web‐based counter accounting may be understood as having emancipatory potential, some of which is being realised in practice. Not all the positive potential is, however, being realised as one might hope: things that might properly be done are not always being done. And there are threats to progress in the future.

Originality/value

Clarification of a notion of counter accounting incorporating the activity of groups such as pressure groups and NGOs; rare study into practices and opinions in this context through a critical evaluative lens.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Clare Roberts and Yue Wang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of institutional factors and the European Union (EU) accounting harmonization on the value‐relevance and comparability…

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1477

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of institutional factors and the European Union (EU) accounting harmonization on the value‐relevance and comparability of dirty surplus accounting flows (DSFs) in the member countries throughout the period 1993 to 2002.

Design/methodology/approach

The returns‐earnings models and fixed‐effect operating income growth models are used to examine the differences in the incremental and relative relevance of DSFs between countries which have a piecemeal system of regulation with significant input from the profession and/or market participants, and the code law countries with the government being the most important institution with regard to accounting regulation. Moreover, the relevance of DSFs in the three sub‐periods is compared, each reflecting quite distinct attitudes in the EU towards international accounting harmonization.

Findings

DSFs are incrementally relevant in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the UK, where equity market plays an important role in the country's financing system; and in comparison to comprehensive income, reported income is a dominant measure of performance in most European countries, with the exception of the five afore‐mentioned countries. There is also evidence that cross country differences in the value‐relevance and predictability of DSFs decrease in the later years of this sample period.

Research limitations/implications

Future research focusing upon the specific accounting changes made by companies in the EU is needed for a better understanding of the relative importance of stock market integration and standard setting changes in explaining the characteristics of DSFs.

Practical implications

The results indicate that the convergence in the reporting of DSFs over time is driven by global capital market integration, and more importantly, the accounting harmonization activities carried out via self‐regulation with significant input from the profession and/or market participants at national level.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to explore, firstly, the extent to which differences in the reporting of DSFs across the EU may be explained by institutional differences. Secondly, it explores whether or not differences across the countries have decreased in three phases of the EU harmonization process.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

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