Nuware Inc. is being analyzed in this situation because a large institutional client of the research firm Wyburn Malone is looking to enter an equity position in Nuware Inc. In making their decision, Wyburn Malone has been asked to restate the statements of Nuware Inc. Due to the apparent earnings growth displayed by the company, even in a period of difficult business, Nuware has become a strong investment opportunity. As with all Wyburn Malone’s research projects, the focus of this analysis centres on determining whether Nuware management has utilized over aggressive or too conservative accounting practices, resulting in earnings that are not real in nature.
When analysts question a firm’s earnings quality, it raises concerns regarding under or over aggressive accounting practices that may be allowing the firm to manipulate the earnings. Earnings quality is defined as the strength of the current earnings in being used to predict future earnings and cash flows. Since earning quality is indicative of future performance, analysts are more likely to address issues that have substantial impact on the earnings quality. An issue arises when the nature of the earnings is questioned. While permanent earnings are part of normal operations, any irregular, one time earnings can skew the earnings, making the firm look more profitable than it is. This is due to the inability to recreate similar one-time transactions that will give rise to such numbers. Investors prefer predictable