Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.685283
Title: Downward earnings management through real activities manipulation
Author: Makarem, Naser
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 4869
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This thesis investigates whether firms use real activities manipulation for income-decreasing earnings management purposes. Managers can use different tools to manage earnings. Given that managers have the authority to apply their own judgment in the preparation of financial reports and to make decision about business activities of their incumbent companies, the opportunity to manipulate earnings is twofold: the first is to manipulate financial reports using accounting techniques and the second is to manipulate underlying transactions. After the introduction of new regulations that were meant to restrict accounting choice as a response to high-profile accounting scandals at the turn of the century, there has been growing literature on the use of real activities manipulation for earnings management. While more control over financial reporting can potentially reduce earnings management through accounting choice, as real activities manipulation concerns non-accounting decisions of management, tighter accounting standards are not able to restrict manipulation of activities. This shift toward real activities manipulation is supported by empirical evidence. Whilst prior studies indicate that managers have incentives for both income-increasing and income-decreasing earnings management, the overwhelming majority of authors have concentrated on income-increasing attempts. However, one would expect that real activities manipulation would also be used for income-decreasing purposes. This study links two lines of research in the area of earnings management; downward earnings management and earnings management through real activities manipulation. Using a large sample of US firms for the period 2002-2011, the present thesis examines whether and how real activities manipulation is used for income-decreasing earnings management. To this end, firms that substantially outperformed their last year performance, or suspect firms, which are considered as more likely to exhibit income-decreasing earnings management are compared with the rest of the sample in terms of various measures of real activities manipulation. The results indicate that firms with extra earnings by the end of third quarter of fiscal year manage earnings downward by means of real activities including sales, production and discretionary expenses. The results are generally robust to a number of sensitivity tests.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.685283  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Earnings management ; Financial statements
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