Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: accruals

19 Relationship between the Ability of Accruals and Non-Systematic Risk of Shares for Companies Listed in Stock Exchange: Case Study, Tehran

Authors: Lina Najafian, Hamidreza Vakilifard

Abstract:

The present study focused on the relationship between the quality of accruals and non-systematic risk. The independent study variables included the ability of accruals, the information content of accruals, and amount of discretionary accruals considered as accruals quality measures. The dependent variable was non-systematic risk based on the Fama and French Three Factor model (FFTFM) and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). The control variables were firm size, financial leverage, stock return, cash flow fluctuations, and book-to-market ratio. The data collection method was based on library research and document mining including financial statements. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data. The study results showed that there is a significant direct relationship between financial leverage and discretionary accruals and non-systematic risk based on FFTFM and CAPM. There is also a significant direct relationship between the ability of accruals, information content of accruals, firm size, and stock return and non-systematic based on both models. It was also found that there is no relationship between book-to-market ratio and cash flow fluctuations and non-systematic risk.

Keywords: accruals quality, non-systematic risk, CAPM, FFTFM

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18 Earnings Management and Firm’s Creditworthiness

Authors: Maria A. Murtiati, Ancella A. Hermawan

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to examine whether the firm’s eligibility to get a bank loan is influenced by earnings management. The earnings management is distinguished between accruals and real earnings management. Hypothesis testing is carried out with logistic regression model using sample of 285 companies listed at Indonesian Stock Exchange in 2010. The result provides evidence that a greater magnitude in accruals earnings management increases the firm’s probability to be eligible to get bank loan. In contrast, real earnings management through abnormal cash flow and abnormal discretionary expenses decrease firm’s probability to be eligible to get bank loan, while real management through abnormal production cost increases such probability. The result of this study suggests that if the earnings management is assumed to be opportunistic purpose, the accruals based earnings management can distort the banks credit analysis using financial statements. Real earnings management has more impact on the cash flows, and banks are very concerned on the firm’s cash flow ability. Therefore, this study indicates that banks are more able to detect real earnings management, except abnormal production cost in real earning management.

Keywords: discretionary accruals, real earning management, bank loan, credit worthiness

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17 Improved Accuracy of Ratio Multiple Valuation

Authors: Julianto Agung Saputro, Jogiyanto Hartono

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Multiple valuation is widely used by investors and practitioners but its accuracy is questionable. Multiple valuation inaccuracies are due to the unreliability of information used in valuation, inaccuracies comparison group selection, and use of individual multiple values. This study investigated the accuracy of valuation to examine factors that can increase the accuracy of the valuation of multiple ratios, that are discretionary accruals, the comparison group, and the composite of multiple valuation. These results indicate that multiple value adjustment method with discretionary accruals provides better accuracy, the industry comparator group method combined with the size and growth of companies also provide better accuracy. Composite of individual multiple valuation gives the best accuracy. If all of these factors combined, the accuracy of valuation of multiple ratios will give the best results.

Keywords: multiple, valuation, composite, accuracy

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16 International Financial Reporting Standards and the Quality of Banks Financial Statement Information: Evidence from an Emerging Market-Nigeria

Authors: Ugbede Onalo, Mohd Lizam, Ahmad Kaseri, Otache Innocent

Abstract:

Giving the paucity of studies on IFRS adoption and quality of banks accounting quality, particularly in emerging economies, this study is motivated to investigate whether the Nigeria decision to adopt IFRS beginning from 1 January 2012 is associated with high quality accounting measures. Consistent with prior literatures, this study measure quality of financial statement information using earnings measurement, timeliness of loss recognition and value relevance. A total of twenty Nigeria banks covering a period of six years (2008-2013) divided equally into three years each (2008, 2009, 2010) pre adoption period and (2011, 2012, 2013) post adoption period were investigated. Following prior studies eight models were in all employed to investigate earnings management, timeliness of loss recognition and value relevance of Nigeria bank accounting quality for the different reporting regimes. Results suggest that IFRS adoption is associated with minimal earnings management, timely recognition of losses and high value relevance of accounting information. Summarily, IFRS adoption engenders higher quality of banks financial statement information compared to local GAAP. Hence, this study recommends the global adoption of IFRS and that Nigeria banks should embrace good corporate governance practices.

Keywords: IFRS, SAS, quality of accounting information, earnings measurement, discretionary accruals, non-discretionary accruals, total accruals, Jones model, timeliness of loss recognition, value relevance

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15 Is Audit Quality Implied by Accruals Quality Associated with Audit Fees and Auditor Tenure? Evidence from China

Authors: Hassan Y. Kikhia, Jin P. Zhang, Khaldoon G. Albiatr

Abstract:

The Enron and Arthur Andersen scandal has raised concerns internationally about auditor independence and audit quality. Furthermore, the debate continues about the relationship between audit fees, auditor tenure and audit quality in spite of extensive empirical evidence examining audit failures and earnings management. Therefore, the purpose of current research is to determine the effect of audit fee and audit tenure both partially and simultaneously on the audit quality. Using a sample of Chinese firms, an environment where we believe it provides us with an opportunity to test whether the development of market and legal institutions affects the impact of audit fees and auditor tenure on audit quality. We employ the standard deviation of residuals from regressions relating current accruals to cash flows as proxy for audit quality. The paper documents statistically significant negative association between audit fees and audit quality. These findings are consistent with economic bonding being a determinant of auditor behavior rather than auditor reputational concerns. Further, the current paper shows a positive association between auditor tenure and audit quality in the earlier years of audit tenure. These results support the proposition that when the Learning Effect dominates the Bonding Effect in the earlier years of tenure, then audit quality is likely to be higher. Taken audit fees and audit tenure together, the results suggest that there is positive association between audit fees and audit quality in the earlier years of auditor tenure. Interestingly, the findings of our study have important implications for auditors, policymakers, multinational firms, and users of financial reports. As the rapid growth of China's economy gains global recognition, the Chinese stock market is capturing the attention of international investors. To a lesser extent, our paper also differs from the prior studies in methodology and findings in the investigation of audit quality.

Keywords: audit quality, accruals quality, audit fees, auditor tenure

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14 Corporate Codes of Ethics and Earnings Discretion: International Evidence

Authors: Chu Chen, Giorgio Gotti, Tony Kang, Michael Wolfe

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This study examines the role of codes of ethics in reducing the extent to which managers’ act opportunistically in reporting earnings. Corporate codes of ethics, by clarifying the boundaries of ethical corporate behaviors and making relevant social norms more salient, have the potential to deter managers from engaging in opportunistic financial reporting practices. In a sample of international companies, we find that the quality of corporate codes of ethics is associated with higher earnings quality, i.e., lower discretionary accruals. Our results are confirmed for a subsample of firms more likely to be engaging in opportunistic reporting behavior, i.e., firms that just meet or beat analysts’ forecasts. Further, codes of ethics play a greater role in reducing earnings management for firms in countries with weaker investor protection mechanisms. Our results suggest that corporate codes of ethics can be a viable alternative to country-level investor protection mechanisms in curbing aggressive reporting behaviors.

Keywords: corporate ethics policy, code of ethics, business ethics, earnings discretion, accruals

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13 Does Operating Cash Flow Really Matter in Value Relevance? A Recent Empirical Analysis on the Largest European Companies

Authors: Francesco Paolone

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This paper investigates the role of Operating Cash Flow (OCF) and accruals in firm valuation analyzing financial statement information from the largest European companies and evaluating their relation to firm market value. Using a dataset of 500 largest European companies in 2018, the study investigates the relative value-relevance of equity, net income and operating cash flow (OCF). Findings show that the cash flow measure has the same explanatory power and intensity as equity and earnings to explain the market value. This study contributes to the debate on the value relevance of OCF incremental to book value and earnings. It also extends the literature, showing that OCF has information content (value relevance) superior to earnings and book value in the main European markets (Bepari et al., 2013). Finally, the study provides a support that accounting method choice may confuse investors, who have reduced confidence in accounting earnings and book value; in other words, nowadays European investors rely more on cash flows instead of accruals numbers.

Keywords: Cash Flow Statement, Value Relevance, Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis

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12 An Examination of Earnings Management by Publicly Listed Targets Ahead of Mergers and Acquisitions

Authors: T. Elrazaz

Abstract:

This paper examines accrual and real earnings management by publicly listed targets around mergers and acquisitions. Prior literature shows that earnings management around mergers and acquisitions can have a significant economic impact because of the associated wealth transfers among stakeholders. More importantly, acting on behalf of their shareholders or pursuing their self-interests, managers of both targets and acquirers may be equally motivated to manipulate earnings prior to an acquisition to generate higher gains for their shareholders or themselves. Building on the grounds of information asymmetry, agency conflicts, stewardship theory, and the revelation principle, this study addresses the question of whether takeover targets employ accrual and real earnings management in the periods prior to the announcement of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). Additionally, this study examines whether acquirers are able to detect targets’ earnings management, and in response, adjust the acquisition premium paid in order not to face the risk of overpayment. This study uses an aggregate accruals approach in estimating accrual earnings management as proxied by estimated abnormal accruals. Additionally, real earnings management is proxied for by employing widely used models in accounting and finance literature. The results of this study indicate that takeover targets manipulate their earnings using accruals in the second year with an earnings release prior to the announcement of the M&A. Moreover, in partitioning the sample of targets according to the method of payment used in the deal, the results are restricted only to targets of stock-financed deals. These results are consistent with the argument that targets of cash-only or mixed-payment deals do not have the same strong motivations to manage their earnings as their stock-financed deals counterparts do additionally supporting the findings of prior studies that the method of payment in takeovers is value relevant. The findings of this study also indicate that takeover targets manipulate earnings upwards through cutting discretionary expenses the year prior to the acquisition while they do not do so by manipulating sales or production costs. Moreover, in partitioning the sample of targets according to the method of payment used in the deal, the results are restricted only to targets of stock-financed deals, providing further robustness to the results derived under the accrual-based models. Finally, this study finds evidence suggesting that acquirers are fully aware of the accrual-based techniques employed by takeover targets and can unveil such manipulation practices. These results are robust to alternative accrual and real earnings management proxies, as well as controlling for the method of payment in the deal.

Keywords: accrual earnings management, acquisition premium, real earnings management, takeover targets

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11 Earnings Management and Tone Management: Evidence from the UK

Authors: Salah Kayed Kayed, Jessica Hong Yang

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This study investigates, whether earnings management in the audited financial statements is associated with tone management in the narrative sections of the annual report in the UK. Earnings management and narrative disclosure are communication strategies used from managers to communicate with investors or other users. Because earnings management and narrative disclosure stem from managers, they can exploit this by doing manipulation in their earnings, and simultaneously disclosing qualitative text (narrative information) in their reports as a tone of words, which will affect users’ perception, and hence users will be misinformed. The association between earnings and tone management can be explained by the self-serving, through cognitive reference points, theory. The sample period lasts from 2010 to 2015, and the sample comprises all non-financial firms that consider under FTSE 350 in any year during the sample period. A list of words from previous research is used to measure the tone in the narrative sections of the annual report. Because this study focuses on the managerial strategic choice and the subjective issues that come from management, it uses the abnormal tone to capture the managerial discretion on tone, and a number of different discretionary accruals proxies to measure earnings management, where accruals management is considered as a manipulation tool from managers to change the users' perception. This research is motivated to fulfil the literature gap by examining the association between earnings and tone management. Moreover, if firms that apply earnings management use tone management to mislead investors, it is beneficial for investors, policy makers, standard setters, or other users to know whether there is an association between earnings management and tone management. Clearly, we believe that this study is fundamental in the accounting context, where it evaluates the communication strategies that are used in firms' financial reports. Consistent with prior research, it is expected that tone management is positively associated with earnings management. This means that firms that use earnings management have incentives to manipulate in their narrative disclosure through tone of words, to reflect a good perception for users, which will conceal the earnings management techniques used in their reporting.

Keywords: earnings management, FTSE 350, narrative disclosure, tone management

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10 The Impact of Corporate Governance Mechanisms on Earnings Management Practices: Evidence from Jordan

Authors: Lara Al-Haddad, Mark Whittington

Abstract:

This paper aims to examine the impact of two influential internal corporate governance mechanisms, namely board characteristics and ownership structure on the use of real activities-based and accrual-based earnings management by Jordanian public firms. Using panel data from Jordanian public firms after the introduction of the Jordanian Corporate Governance Code (JCGC) in 2009, the study finds both institutional ownership and managerial ownership constrain the use of real and accrual earnings manipulations. On the other side, both independent directors and largest shareholders are found to exaggerate the incidence of using real and accrual earnings management. The study also examines the trade-off between real and accrual earnings management and found that Jordanian firms use a combination of real and accrual-based earnings management to obtain the greatest effect on earnings reporting strategies. For the purpose of this study, three types of real earnings management are considered: sales manipulation, overproduction, and the abnormal reduction of discretionary expenditures. The abnormal discretionary accrual is considered for accruals management. While for the internal corporate governance mechanisms; board characteristics are examined by using board independence, board size, and CEO-duality; and ownership structure is examined by using managerial ownership, institutional ownership, foreign ownership and largest shareholder ownership. To the best knowledge of the researchers, this study is the first to examine the relationship between board characteristics and real earnings management in Jordan. Further, it is the first to examine the relationship between corporate governance mechanisms and discretionary accruals after the introduction of the Jordanian Corporate Governance Code in 2009. Thus, the findings of this study have important policy implications for policymakers, regulators, standard setters, audit professional, and investors in their attempts to constrain the practice of earnings management, whether real or accrual, and to improve the financial reporting quality in Jordan.

Keywords: board characteristics, Jordan, ownership structure, real earnings management

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9 Creative Accounting as a Financial Numbers Game

Authors: Feddaoui Amina

Abstract:

Through this study we will try to shed light on the theoretical framework proposed for understanding creative accounting as a financial numbers game and one of the most important techniques of accounts manipulation, its main actors and its practices. We will discover the role of the modified Jones model (1995) in detecting creative accounting practices using discretionary accruals. Finally we will try to confirm the importance and the need to address this type of practices using corporate governance as a main control system and an important defense line to reduce these dangerous accounts manipulation.

Keywords: financial numbers game, creative accounting, modified Jones model, accounts manipulation

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8 The Misuse of Free Cash and Earnings Management: An Analysis of the Extent to Which Board Tenure Mitigates Earnings Management

Authors: Michael McCann

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Managerial theories propose that, in joint stock companies, executives may be tempted to waste excess free cash on unprofitable projects to keep control of resources. In order to conceal their projects' poor performance, they may seek to engage in earnings management. On the one hand, managers may manipulate earnings upwards in order to post ‘good’ performances and safeguard their position. On the other, since managers pursuit of unrewarding investments are likely to lead to low long-term profitability, managers will use negative accruals to reduce current year’s earnings, smoothing earnings over time in order to conceal the negative effects. Agency models argue that boards of directors are delegated by shareholders to ensure that companies are governed properly. Part of that responsibility is ensuring the reliability of financial information. Analyses of the impact of board characteristics, particularly board independence on the misuse of free cash flow and earnings management finds conflicting evidence. However, existing characterizations of board independence do not account for such directors gaining firm-specific knowledge over time, influencing their monitoring ability. Further, there is little analysis of the influence of the relative experience of independent directors and executives on decisions surrounding the use of free cash. This paper contributes to this literature regarding the heterogeneous characteristics of boards by investigating the influence of independent director tenure on earnings management and the relative tenures of independent directors and Chief Executives. A balanced panel dataset comprising 51 companies across 11 annual periods from 2005 to 2015 is used for the analysis. In each annual period, firms were classified as conducting earnings management if they had discretionary accruals in the bottom quartile (downwards) and top quartile (upwards) of the distributed values for the sample. Logistical regressions were conducted to determine the marginal impact of independent board tenure and a number of control variables on the probability of conducting earnings management. The findings indicate that both absolute and relative measures of board independence and experience do not have a significant impact on the likelihood of earnings management. It is the level of free cash flow which is the major influence on the probability of earnings management. Higher free cash flow increases the probability of earnings management significantly. The research also investigates whether board monitoring of earnings management is contingent on the level of free cash flow. However, the results suggest that board monitoring is not amplified when free cash flow is higher. This suggests that the extent of earnings management in companies is determined by a range of company, industry and situation-specific factors.

Keywords: corporate governance, boards of directors, agency theory, earnings management

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7 Earnings Management from Taiwan Gisa Firms

Authors: An-an Chiu, Shaio Yan Huang, Ling-Na Chen, Wei-Hua Lin

Abstract:

Research has primarily focused on listed companies, less is done regarding small and medium-sized enterprises. Under the authorities' support, Taipei Exchange (TPEx) started Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA) in January 2014. This platform is designed to help small-sized innovative companies grow and to enter the capital market in the future. This research yield insight into earnings management activities around seasoned equity offerings (SEO) based on Taiwan’s GISA firms and the effectiveness of external corporate governance. Data for the study come from the GISA Market Observation Post System from January 2014 to December 2016. The result finds that GISA firms prone to upward accrual-based earnings management during SEO to avoid long-term negative consequences. Especially, firms with paid-in capital more than NT$ 30 million, higher fundraising amounts, or smaller-sized firms, tend to increase discretionary accruals. Finally, consistent with prior literature, CPA firms effectively serve as the role of external corporate governances on mitigating earnings management.

Keywords: GISA, earnings management, CPA, seasoned equity offerings

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6 The Effect of Accounting Quality on Contribution-In-Kind Valuation

Authors: Catherine Heyjung Sonu

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This paper examines the effect of accounting quality on the process in which stock price is determined by focusing on contribution-in-kind valuations using Korean setting. In Korea, a number of chaebol firms have transformed into holding company system starting in 2003. With an attempt to gain as much voting right, management sold shares of subsidiaries to purchase shares of the holding company. In so doing, management of these firms received share issues for the contribution in kind that has been made to obtain additional shares of the holding company. The price of these share issues against contribution in kind is allowed to be discounted up to 30%. Using this interesting setting in Korea, this paper examines whether accounting quality affects the extent of the discount applied to the share issues. If the accounting quality of the firm for which the management is receiving share issues is poor, the extent of discount is likely to be high. The extent of discount is likely lower for firms with superior accounting quality. Using 24 cases, we find that, on average, the extent of discount is larger for share issues in which the accounting quality, proxied by the absolute value of discretionary accruals, is poor. This paper provides insight by examining the effect of accounting quality on the stock market. It sheds light on the intersection between finance and accounting research and should be of interest to researchers and practitioners.

Keywords: Accounting quality, Contribution-in-kind, discount, holding company

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5 Cognitive Approach at the Epicenter of Creative Accounting in Cameroonian Companies: The Relevance of the Psycho-Sociological Approach and the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Authors: Romuald Temomo Wamba, Robert Wanda

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The issue of creative accounting in the psychological and sociological framework has been a mixed subject for over 60 years. The objective of this article is to ensure the existence of creative accounting in Cameroonian entities on the one hand and to understand the strategies used by audit agents to detect errors, omissions, irregularities, or inadequacies in the financial state; optimization techniques used by account preparers to strategically bypass texts on the other hand. To achieve this, we conducted an exploratory study using a cognitive approach, and the data analysis was performed by the software 'decision explorer'. The results obtained challenge the authors' cognition (manifest latent and deceptive behavior). The tax inspectors stress that the entities in Cameroon do not derogate from the rules of piloting in the financial statements. Likewise, they claim a change in current income and net income through depreciation, provisions, inventories, and the spreading of charges over long periods. This suggests the suspicion or intention of manipulating the financial statements. As for the techniques, the account preparers manage the accruals at the end of the year as the basis of the practice of creative accounting. Likewise, management accounts are more favorable to results management.

Keywords: creative accounting, sociocognitive approach, psychological and sociological approach, cognitive dissonance theory, cognitive mapping

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4 The Effect of Critical Audit Matters on Financial Information Quality: The Role of Audit Committee Expertise

Authors: Khawla HLEL

Abstract:

This study aims to examine whether critical audit matters (CAM) affect financial information quality. We also investigate the moderating role of audit committee on the association between CAM and financial information quality. The analysis is based on GLS and GMM regressions explaining the absolute value of discretionary accruals by using 52 Tunisian listed firms on the Tunisia Stock Exchange (TSE) for the period 2017-2020. We find evidence that managers react to the CAM by increasing the quality of financial disclosures. This study provides insights on how a change in the auditor’s report model might impact the quality of financial information. It suggests that external auditor and audit committee serve as a beneficial mechanism for enhancing financial information quality by reducing information asymmetry. In addition, CAM is considered as an important mechanism for preserving trust in financial reporting and integrity of financial information. As a result, it gives a credible signal in constructing and sustaining shareholders’ trust on the transparency and the reliability of such financial information. This study is important for potential investors who should assess CAM when evaluating firms. Furthermore, the authors expect the findings to be interesting to firms, as this study highlights the effectiveness of the auditor in reducing managerial opportunistic behavior and improving information quality. The results could encourage audit regulators to ameliorate the standards, as this research reinforces the role of the auditor in increasing the quality of financial disclosure by offering the required information for shareholders.

Keywords: critical audit matters, audit committee, information quality, Tunisian firms

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3 International Comparative Study of International Financial Reporting Standards Adoption and Earnings Quality: Effects of Differences in Accounting Standards, Industry Category, and Country Characteristics

Authors: Ichiro Mukai

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.

Keywords: accruals, earnings quality, IFRS, information comparability

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2 The Effects of Changes in Accounting Standards on Loan Loss Provisions (LLP) as Earnings Management Device: Evidence from Malaysia and Nigeria Banks (Part I)

Authors: Ugbede Onalo, Mohd Lizam, Ahmad Kaseri

Abstract:

In view of dearth of studies on changes in accounting standards and banks’ earnings management particularly in the context of emerging economies, and the recent Malaysia and Nigeria change from their respective local GAAP to IFRS, this study deemed it overwhelming to investigate the effects of the switch on banks’ earnings management focusing on LLP as the manipulative device. This study employed judgmental sampling to select twenty eight banks- eight Malaysia and twenty Nigeria banks as sample covering period 2008-2013. To provide an empirical research setting in pursuant of the objective of this study, the study period is further partitioned into pre (2008, 2009, 2010) and post (2011, 2012, 2013) IFRS adoption periods. This study consistent with previous studies models a LLP regression model to investigate specific discretionary accruals of banks. Findings suggest that Malaysia and Nigeria banks individually use LLP to manage reported earnings more prior to IFRS implementation. Comparative overall results evidenced that the pre IFRS adoption or domestic GAAP era for both Malaysia and Nigeria sample banks is associated with higher prevalent earnings management through LLP than the corresponding post IFRS adoption era in diverse magnitude but in favour of Malaysia banks for both periods. With results demonstrating that IFRS adoption is linked to lower earnings management via LLP, this study therefore recommends the global adoption of IFRS as reporting framework. This study also endorses that Nigeria banks embrace and borrow a leaf from Malaysia banks good corporate governance practices.

Keywords: accounting standards, IFRS, FRS, SAS, LLP, earnings management

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1 Effect of Long Term Orientation and Indulgence on Earnings Management: The Moderating Role of Legal Tradition

Authors: I. Martinez-Conesa, E. Garcia-Meca, M. Barradas-Quiroz

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to assess the impact on earnings management of latest two Hofstede cultural dimensions: long-term orientation and indulgence. Long-term orientation represents the alignment of a society towards the future and indulgence expresses the extent to which a society exhibits willingness, or restrain, to realise their impulses. Additionally, this paper tests if there are relevant differences by testing the moderating role of the legal tradition, Continental versus Anglo-Saxon. Our sample comprises 15 countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, and Thailand, with a total of 12,936 observations from 2003 to 2013. Our results show that managers in countries with high levels of long-term orientation reduce their levels of discretionary accruals. The findings do not confirm the effect of indulgence on earnings management. In addition, our results confirm previous literature regarding the effect of individualism, noting that firms in countries with high levels of collectivism might be more inclined to use earnings discretion to protect the welfare of the collective group of firm stakeholders. Uncertainty avoidance results in downwards earnings management as well as high disclosure, suggesting that less manipulation takes place when transparency is higher. Indulgence is the cultural dimension that confronts wellbeing versus survival; dimension is formulated including happiness, the perception of live control and the importance of leisure. Indulgence shows a weak negative correlation with power distance indicating a slight tendency for more hierarchical societies to be less indulgent. Anglo-Saxon countries are a positive effect of individualism and a negative effect of masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and disclosure. With respect to continental countries, we can see a significant and positive effect of individualism and a significant and negative effect of masculinity, long-term orientation, and indulgence. Therefore, we observe the negative effect on earnings management provoked by higher disclosure and uncertainty avoidance only happens in Anglo-Saxon countries. Meanwhile, the improvement in reporting quality motivated by higher long-term orientation and higher indulgence is dominant in Continental countries. Our results confirm that there is a moderating effect of the legal system in the association between culture and earnings management. This effect is especially relevant in the dimensions related to uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, indulgence, and disclosure. The negative effect of long-term orientation on earnings management only happens in those countries set in continental legal systems because of the Anglo-Saxon legal systems is supported by the decisions of the courts and the traditions, so it already has long-term orientation. That does not occur in continental systems, depending mainly of contend of the law. Sensitivity analysis used with Jones modified CP model, Jones Standard model and Jones Standard CP model confirm the robustness of these results. This paper collaborates towards a better understanding on how earnings management, culture and legal systems relate to each other, and contribute to previous literature by examining the influence of the two latest Hofstede’s dimensions not previously studied in papers.

Keywords: Hofstede, long-term-orientation, earnings management, indulgence

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