1a. One potential goal of earnings management is income smoothing. Briefly discuss why income smoothing might be a goal of management, including a discussion of incentives to smooth income. What techniques might be used to accomplish income smoothing beyond the selection of depreciation and inventory costing alternatives?
Mohana, R (2011). Financial Statement Analysis and Reporting. New Delhi: Asoke K. Ghosh, PHI Learni
Such an intense focus has been placed on quarterly earnings as an indication of a company’s success by everyone from analysts to executives that ethics have for the most part been thrown out the window, sacrificed to the all important number, i.e. earnings per share. This is the theory in Alex Berenson’s book “The Number: How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America.” This number has become part of a game to be played, a figure to be manipulated – beat the number and Wall Street all but throws a parade, miss it and a company’s stock may be abandoned. Take into account the incentives that executives have to beat the number and one can find plenty of reasons to manage earnings.
Most economically, the important body of work is the role of conditional conservatism in markets. Indeed, there is a view that information needs of accountant is the main driver of the market demand for accounting conditional conservatism. At the present moment, US was the markets dominator to reflected in the accounting standards. However is if very difficult to predict how different US GAAP would be today in the absence of US markets.
The objective of this research paper is to figure out weather earnings management is fraud.
Pro forma earnings are earnings which often exclude non-recurring items and are defined by each individual firm rather than under the general accepted accounting principle (GAAP). Pro forma earnings reporting is commonplace in the U.S. (Doyle et al. 2013; Bentley et al. 2016). Items such as nonrecurring gains and losses, depreciation and amortization expenses, write-downs, restructuring and merger costs, stock compensation expenses, and interest expenses are often excluded in pro forma earnings figures. Since many of these exclusions are likely to be transitory in nature, pro forma earnings can be viewed as a better measure of permanent earnings and have received increasing focus recently. Research studies found that pro forma earnings are more value relevant, informative, and better associated with stock prices than GAAP earnings (Bradshaw and Sloan, 2002; Bhattacharya et al.,2003; Brown and Sivakumar, 2003; Entwistle et al., 2010). However, exclusion of the non-recurring items is completely discretionary (Doyle et al., 2013) and managers may use the flexibility to opportunistically influence the market’s perception of the firm’s recurring earnings (Dechow and Schrand, 2004). Managers may have strong incentives to manipulate the reported pro forma earnings to influence investors’ perceptions about the
Since the 1980s, there has been a dramatic increase not only in the frequency of pro forma earnings but also on the magnitude (Alpert, 2000; Bradshaw and Sloan, 2002). According to Graham et al. (2005) managers believe that pro forma earnings is the most important performance measure. Managers support that pro forma earnings
Baruch Lev and Feng Gu authors of “The End of Accounting and The Path Forward for Investors and Managers” indicate that over the past 110 years, the structure and content of financial reports has not changed, and that the role that these reports play in influencing the decisions of investors has greatly diminished. Lev and Gu make a case that non-transaction events that are not captured by the financial reports such as those disclosed through 8-k filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have a greater impact on stock prices, and thus more useful to investors. In addition, they suggest that one of reasons for the decline in usefulness of financial reports stems from the increase of estimates that has made its way into these reports (Lev and Gu 2016).
SYNOPSIS: An extensive body of academic research in accounting develops theory and empirical evidence on the relation between earnings information and stock returns. This literature provides important insights for understanding the relevance of financial reporting. In this article, we summarize the theory and evidence on how accounting earnings information relates to firms stock returns, particularly for the benefit of students, practitioners, and others who may not yet have been exposed to this literature. In addition, we
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
The quality of earnings, reported by companies is simply the portion of income that comes from the operating functions of the business. The quality of earnings is one way that individuals can use the reported income to predict the company's future. Another way to put it is that the earnings quality is "The
As stated in Exhibit 3, Earnings management is the managerial use of discretion to influence reported earnings. Within the accrual accounting system, managers have significant discretion with their firms’ accounting choices. Management has the ability to make choices that can opportunistically lead to higher or lower reported earnings. Richard 's and Ira Zar’s (CFO) actions would not change if these results were the result of GAAP flexibility because he violated the rules of accounting, the conceptual framework principle of neutrality in numerous ways to report the financial results that CA did under false pretenses. It would be one thing if CA garnered these results through legitimate business decisions versus using accounting tactics like changes in accounting estimates or outright fraud as in the use of the 35 day Month. The purpose of which was solely to allow CA to meet or exceed analysts’ estimates.
By Thomas Ahrens (London School of Economics), and Christopher Chapman (University of Oxford), from The Contemporary Accounting Research Vol. 21 No. 2 (Summer 2004) pp. 271–301.
The literature on conservatism accounting is very limited. Watts (2003), has suggested that conservatism is related to debt contracts, while Gjesdal & Antle (2001) suggest that conservatism is the interaction between income measurement and dividend covenants. Even though conservatism may be most favorable, the result derives from shareholders trading off cash flows in different periods, not from the need to protect the interests of creditors.
Nowadays, as our economy is facing possible everyday crises, managers undergo an increasing pressure in order to keep their company 's earnings stable. Shareholders and analysts expect companies to meet forecasted goals and not to deviate from these. Especially, reliable companies are to report positive results and shall not present any 'surprises '. Managers therefore often turn to their accounting departments for help, whose job it then is to improve the bottom line by changing the information shown in financial