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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Alex Johanes Simamora

This paper aims to examine the effect of managerial ability (MA) on real earnings management and the effect of real earnings management by higher ability managers on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of managerial ability (MA) on real earnings management and the effect of real earnings management by higher ability managers on future profitability, at a different level of the crime rate.

Design/methodology/approach

The research sample includes 864 manufacturing firms-years listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange. MA uses an efficiency score by data envelopment analysis. Real earnings management is measured by abnormal activities. The crime rate is measured by logarithm natural of the number of crimes per 100.000 citizens in the region where the firm is headquartered. Data analysis uses fixed-effect regression.

Findings

MA increases real earnings management in the region where the firm is headquartered with a higher crime rate while MA will reduce real earnings management in the region where the firm is headquartered with a lower crime rate. Also, real earnings management by higher-ability managers gives a signal of better future profitability in the region where the firm is headquartered with a lower crime rate.

Originality/value

This research contributes to filling the previous gap of managerial characteristics ability-related on real earnings management by providing regional crime rate as a determinant factor of managers’ ethical behavior. This research is the first one to considers the regional crime rate treatment to the relationship between MA and real earnings management especially in Indonesia. This research also provides new evidence of efficient real earnings management for a lower crime rate group of samples to give a signal of better future profitability.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2017

Nana Y. Amoah, Anthony Anderson, Isaac Bonaparte and Alex P. Tang

This study examines the relation between internal control material weakness (ICMW) under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and real earnings management. Our…

Abstract

This study examines the relation between internal control material weakness (ICMW) under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and real earnings management. Our measures of real earnings management are abnormal cash flow from operations (ABCFOs), abnormal discretionary expenses (ABDISEXP), and abnormal production cost (ABPROD). We use a sample of 1,824 manufacturing firms over the period 2004–2011 to run regressions of ABCFO, ABDISEXP, and ABPROD on ICMW and other independent variables. We find that ICMW is negatively associated with ABCFOs. Another result that emerges from this study is a positive relation between ICMW and ABPROD. Our results imply that manufacturing firms with materially weak internal controls predominantly use overproduction and excessive price discounts to manage operational activities to achieve earnings targets. As SOX Section 404 is designed to reduce the instances of firms having ICMW, our finding that ICMW firms engage in real earnings management suggests that the use of real earnings management could be reduced as SOX Section 404 succeeds in reducing ICMW.

Details

Parables, Myths and Risks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-534-4

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Syed Numan Chowdhury and Yasser Eliwa

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether audit quality influence real earnings management activities using a sample of UK listed firms that have strong incentives…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether audit quality influence real earnings management activities using a sample of UK listed firms that have strong incentives to manage earnings upward through meeting past year’s earnings as a benchmark in the post-adoption period of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a sample of 4,774 firm-year observations of UK listed firms during the period 2005–2018. Univariate and multivariate analyses have been conducted to test the association after controlling for firm characteristics and institutional variables.

Findings

The study reports that the presence of Big 4 auditors is significantly and positively related with greater levels of sales and discretionary expenses manipulation. Though the authors do not find any conclusive evidence on production costs manipulation, the aggregated measure of real earnings management shows a significant positive association with the presence of Big 4 auditors.

Practical implications

The study implies that managers who have incentives to manage earnings upward around the UK firms take advantage of the accounting flexibility in defining policies while reducing information asymmetry among the investors to signal better future performance. The approach to detect earnings manipulation as described in the auditing standards fails to limit the managerial use of real activities due to limited scope and unclear guidance. Thus, due to the significant impact on public policies, the results should, therefore, be of interest to the regulators and standard setters.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that examines the association between audit quality and real earnings management for the UK all-purpose operational firms in sampled data that just meet past year’s earnings as a benchmark in the post-IFRS period.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2020

Russell Barber and Dana Hollie

The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to examine the incremental contribution of product market fluidity (P_THREAT), another measure of competition from that of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to examine the incremental contribution of product market fluidity (P_THREAT), another measure of competition from that of the Herfindahl index (H_COMP) and (2) to examine how a research and development (R&D) real activities earnings management strategy to meet an earnings target is influenced by competition.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a linear probability model, we test whether P_THREAT is incremental to the H_COMP competition measure and whether it influences the likelihood of firms using abnormally low R&D real activities earnings management to meet an earnings target.

Findings

We find that P_THREAT is incrementally informative to the commonly used Herfindahl measure of competition in predicting abnormally low R&D real activities earnings management activities. This finding is consistent with the notion of examining P_THREAT because the Herfindahl index alone may be incomplete, depending on the product makeup of a company. The negative coefficient suggests that reducing discretionary spending on R&D in the short run could have a detrimental effect on long-term profits because bypassed R&D opportunities would put firms at a disadvantage with their competitors' R&D efforts. In contrast, we find that firms are more likely to use R&D activities earnings management as a mechanism to meet an earnings target when P_THREAT is high. This suggests that when high competitive pressure exists, firms are more likely to use abnormally low R&D as a mechanism to meet an earnings target.

Originality/value

We specifically focus on R&D activities earnings management because our primary competition measure, P_THREAT, captures changes in rival firms' products relative to the firm. Because R&D is primarily what drives product change, R&D is the type of real activities earnings management that is most relevant to our competition measure. Hence, this study contributes to the literature by examining how competition influences the likelihood of firms possibly engaging in R&D activities earnings management and meeting earnings targets in the presence of P_THREAT competition.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 46 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Mohammad Alhadab and Thang Nguyen

This study aims to examine the non-linear relationship between corporate diversification and real and accrual earnings management, using a sample of 5,659 US firm-year…

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1125

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the non-linear relationship between corporate diversification and real and accrual earnings management, using a sample of 5,659 US firm-year observations for 1,221 firms covering the period from 2001 to 2012.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use various techniques and regressions to test the hypotheses. Following prior research, several proxies have been used to measure diversification, accrual earnings management and real earnings management.

Findings

The study produces several important findings. First, the study provides evidence that diversified firms engage in real and accrual earnings management to manage their reported earnings upward. These results are consistent with recent research (Farooqi et al., 2014; Jirapon et al., 2008) that finds that diversified firms engage in earnings manipulation. Second, and most importantly, the study contributes to the literature by providing the first evidence on a non-linear relationship between corporate diversification and earnings management. Specifically, the study provides evidence that diversified firms engage in accrual (real) earnings management, but this engagement is associated with level of diversification in a non-linear U-shaped (inverted U-shaped) relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Like all other studies, the current study has some limitations. The study was conducted only on the largest firms in the USA that have market capitalization of more than US$10m; hence, the findings may not be generalizable to small publicly traded firms. Further, the findings may not be generalizable to other markets, given the unique characteristics of US markets such as the presence of very sophisticated investors.

Practical implications

This study provides some important implications for US regulators to revise their regulations to prevent diversified firms from using earnings management to manipulate reported earnings.

Originality/value

This study is the first in the USA to examine the non-linear relationship between corporate diversification and earnings management. The study focuses on one of the most active, most attractive and largest capital markets throughout the world, that of the USA. Also, this study is one of the few studies that examine whether diversified firms use real activities manipulation to manage their reported earnings.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Mahdi Moradi, Mahdi Salehi and Mohammad Zamanirad

– The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of managers’ incentive bonuses on both accrual and real earnings management.

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1790

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of managers’ incentive bonuses on both accrual and real earnings management.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the authors investigate the relationship between managers’ bonuses and both accrual earnings management (measured by a modified Jones model) and real earnings management (measured by Roychowdhury proxies). Next, the authors examine whether management has any preferences for earnings management methods to enhance its bonuses. Finally, the authors investigate the possible effects of earnings management on future operating performance. The sample consists of compositional data in the period from 2006 to 2012.

Findings

The authors find a negative relationship between real earnings management and managers’ bonuses and detect that managers prefer to use accrual earnings management to earn more bonuses. The results also show that real earnings management will reduce a firm’s performance in future periods, and on the other hand that increasing managers’ bonuses links to improvement of the firm’s future performance. The results suggest that managers are typically aware of the negative effects of real earnings management on the firm’s future performance and thus prefer to improve the firm’s performance in securing their bonuses when their ability to manage accruals is constrained.

Originality/value

The implications of this paper provide further evidence on how managers’ bonuses affect their discretion in using accrual and real earnings management. This finding is important to investors and regulators.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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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

Downloads
1513

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.

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2014

Jerry Sun, George Lan and Guoping Liu

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of independent audit committees in constraining real earnings management. This study examines the…

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6345

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of independent audit committees in constraining real earnings management. This study examines the relationships between audit committee characteristics and real activities manipulation.

Design/methodology/approach

US firms with stronger incentives to undertake real earnings management are selected as a sample. Regressions are run for the empirical analyses.

Findings

It is found that audit committee members' additional directorships are positively associated with real earnings management measured by abnormal cash flows from operations, abnormal discretionary expenses and abnormal production costs, suggesting that audit committees with high additional directorships are less effective in constraining real earnings management. The findings are consistent with the notion that audit committee members' busyness impairs their monitoring effectiveness.

Originality/value

This study extends the extant research on audit committees' oversight of real earnings management by using refined research design and updated data. This study also provides further evidence on how audit committee members' additional directorships affect their ability to oversee both accrual and real earnings management.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Talie Kassamany, Salma Ibrahim and Stuart Archbold

This study aims to investigate the occurrence of pre-merger earnings management for a sample of 197 stock- and cash-financed UK acquirers between 1990 and 2009. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the occurrence of pre-merger earnings management for a sample of 197 stock- and cash-financed UK acquirers between 1990 and 2009. It also examines the earnings management behaviour around the change in the Corporate Governance Code in 2003 based on the Higgs recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

Mean and median accrual- and real-based manipulation are examined in the period before the announcement of a merger and acquisition. These are compared across stock and cash acquirers as well as before and after the implementation of the Higgs recommendations. Logistic regressions are also run to examine accrual- and real-based manipulation across stock and cash acquirers after controlling for variables that may affect the acquisition type.

Findings

The study found some evidence of upward pre-merger accrual-based earnings management by stock-financed acquirers, which is in line with the findings of Botsari and Meeks (2008). Furthermore, no significant changes were found in the post-Higgs period, which indicates that the recommendations put forth by Higgs may not have been successful in mitigating earnings management. The evidence also shows that cash bidders engage in pre-merger real earnings manipulation through lower discretionary expenses, possibly to enhance cash availability for the bid.

Practical implications

The findings in this study confirm earnings management exists around mergers and acquisitions and provide some evidence that the recommendations set out in the Higgs Report do not appear to have mitigated earnings management activities. This is of interest to regulators as well as investors and academicians.

Originality/value

This provides the first analysis in the UK examining the use of real-based earnings management activities by UK acquirers. It also extends prior research around corporate governance changes that occurred in the UK.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2019

R.P. Sitanggang, Yusuf Karbhari, Bolaji Tunde Matemilola and M. Ariff

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether audit quality is associated with real earnings management in the UK.

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1137

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether audit quality is associated with real earnings management in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply the panel fixed effects method that controls for heterogeneity across firms to investigate whether audit quality is related to real earnings management for a large sample of UK manufacturing companies for the period 2010–2013. The authors utilized three proxies to measure real earnings management and two proxies to measure audit quality.

Findings

The results provide evidence that audit fees are negatively related to abnormal operating cash flows. Conversely, audit fees are positively related to abnormal discretionary expenses. Besides, audit quality proxies show insignificant relationship with abnormal production costs and real earnings management index. Overall, the study finds partial evidence of significant relationship between audit quality and real earnings management.

Research limitations/implications

These results are important subject to the adequacy of the indicators of real earnings management and audit quality. Like previous research works that mostly focus on upward earnings management, the authors do not address the question of whether and how firms take real actions to manage earnings downwards in certain contexts.

Practical implications

The findings inform monitoring bodies that the imposition of higher levels of audit quality may result in unintended consequences. Therefore, monitoring bodies, such as audit committees, should consider the implication of imposing higher quality auditing, which may drive firms to potentially value-decreasing real earnings management practices. Managers should curtail real earnings management practices, especially abnormal operating cash flow, because attempt to use higher-quality auditors to mitigate such practice may destroy firm value. Also, managers’ employment may be threatened due to the potential deterioration of firm value caused by using higher-quality auditors to mitigate managers’ real earnings management practices. Moreover, shareholders are informed of the potential detrimental effects of imposing higher levels of audit quality which may lower the value of their investments.

Originality/value

The paper extends previous research on earnings management in several ways. First, while earlier studies usually use accruals methods to measure earnings management, the authors use the real earnings management approach as managers can switch from accruals to real earnings management when facing more scrutiny from auditors and/or more constrained regulations or standards that may limit their capability to use discretionary accruals. Second, this study reports new findings, as the authors find partial evidence of a significant relationship between audit quality and real earnings management. Third, it is one of the few studies to use a real earnings management index to measure earnings management and its link to audit quality.

Details

International Journal of Managerial Finance, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1743-9132

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