Accounting - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 104
The effect of trade secrets protection on disclosure of forward‐looking financial information
Using the recognition of the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine (IDD) by US state courts as an exogenous shock to the risk of losing trade secrets, this study examines the effects of trade secrets on disclosure of forward‐looking financial information. We find that management earnings forecast frequency and forecast horizon increases after the US state where a firm is headquartered starts to recognize IDD. We also find that the effect of IDD recognition on management forecasts is more pronounced for firms that have larger market shares, higher product market competition, more intensive R&D, shorter distance to their industry rivals, and more employees who possess knowledge of the firms’ trade secrets.
Financial Reporting and Credit Ratings: On the Effects of Competition in the Rating Industry and Rating Agencies' Gatekeeper Role
This paper studies firms' financial reporting incentives in the presence of strategic credit rating agencies and how these incentives are affected by the level of competition in the rating industry and by rating agencies' role as gatekeepers to debt markets. We develop a model featuring an entrepreneur who seeks project financing from a perfectly competitive debt market. After publicly disclosing a financial report, the entrepreneur can purchase credit ratings from rating agencies that strategically choose their rating fees and rating inflation. We derive the following core results: (1) More rating industry competition leads to stronger corporate misreporting incentives if ratings are sufficiently precise or if rating agencies assume a gatekeeper role. Under imperfect rating industry competition, (2) agencies' gatekeeper role primarily weakens firms' misreporting incentives, which then influences rating agencies' strategies, and (3) firms' misreporting and rating agencies' rating inflation can be strategic complements when agencies assume a gatekeeper role. (4) Regulatory initiatives aimed at increasing rating industry competition or at weakening rating agencies' gatekeeper role improve investment efficiency as long as corporate misreporting incentives are not significantly strengthened.
Is Financial Reporting Still Useful? Australian Evidence
There has been recent and growing criticism of the usefulness of financial reporting for investors, particularly the annual financial statements. In response, the IASB is pursuing several projects aimed at improving the relevance of financial information. To inform the IASB’s work, we investigate, using a mixed‐method approach, the extent and nature of the use of annual financial statements by equity investors. We examine the relevance of financial reporting for equity valuation in Australia across time. We find that financial reporting (specifically, reported net income, shareholders’ equity, and operating cash flows) remains relevant for investment decisions. We further support this finding with evidence from field interviews that provide insight into how and why financial statements are used by equity investors. The field evidence also demonstrates that no one financial statement dominates in investor decision making. Given the increasing availability of more timely, forward‐looking information from alternative sources, we examine the relevance of non‐GAAP financial information and other non‐financial information for investor decision making. We find that non‐GAAP financial information (as proxied by EBIT and EBITDA) is more value relevant than statutory measures. We further find a broad range of non‐financial information is utilized by investors in making investment decisions both as a ‘screen’ and for valuation purposes. Our findings inform regulators and other stakeholders as we provide evidence of the continuing relevance of financial statements and the complementary role of non‐GAAP financial and other information. Our evidence provides a rebuttal to the recent criticism.
Keeping it private: financial reporting by large proprietary companies in Australia
Since 2010, proprietary companies have had a choice of preparing three types of financial reports that vary in scope. We find that between 2010 and 2015, most proprietary companies in our random sample chose the lowest scope option, with very low quality financial reports. Few adoptedthenewoptionprovidedbyAASB1053Application of Tiers of AustralianAccounting Standards. The characteristics of the firms that adopted each type of report are consistent with the regulator’s intention. Our findings should provide a better understanding of how accounting standards impact practice, and should assist regulators to reform private company financial reporting.
Accounting Standards Harmonization and Financial Integration
(Canadian Academic Accounting Association, 2019)
We empirically examine whether adopting a uniform set of accounting standards mitigates information frictions in financial markets and facilitates market integration. Using a difference‐in‐difference design, we find that after the mandatory adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), local stock returns incorporate more global information and at a faster speed. The effect of IFRS adoption is stronger in countries where there are larger improvements in accounting comparability and for firms with a larger increase in foreign ownership. Overall, our results suggest that accounting standards harmonization facilitates financial market integration.
The Relation between Strategy, CEO Selection, and Firm Performance
(Canadian Academic Accounting Association, 2019)
We examine whether a firm's strategic priorities influence its selection of a new CEO and what conditions enable such an appointment to add value to the firm. More specifically, this study investigates the value‐adding effect when prospector firms (i.e., those pursuing a prospector‐type strategy) select a CEO with high social capital. We argue that uncertainty, driven by a firm's strategy, will determine the decision to select a CEO with high social capital; such CEOs can use their networks to mitigate the uncertainty and thus can be valuable to the firm. However, prior research indicates that CEOs with high social capital can engage in behavior detrimental to firm value. To mitigate the potential for this to occur, we assess whether corporate governance can play a role in prospector firms who appoint CEOs with high social capital. Drawing on archival data of CEO successions over a 14‐year period, we find that prospector firms have greater incentives to appoint CEOs with high social capital. We also find prospector firms who appoint a CEO with high social capital improve their performance. Furthermore, the value‐adding effect of this selection choice is stronger in prospector firms with good corporate governance.
Explanations as Discourse: Towards Ethical Big Data Analytics Services
(Australasian Association for Information Systems and Australian Computer Society, 2020-01-01)
Big data analytics uses algorithms for decision-making and targeting of customers. These algorithms process large-scale data sets and create efficiencies in the decision-making process for organizations but are often incomprehensible to customers and inherently opaque in nature. Recent European Union regulations require that organizations communicate meaningful information to customers on the use of algorithms and the reasons behind decisions made about them. In this paper, we explore the use of explanations in big data analytics services. We rely on discourse ethics to argue that explanations can facilitate a balanced communication between organizations and customers, leading to transparency and trust for customers as well as customer engagement and reduced reputation risks for organizations. We conclude the paper by proposing future empirical research directions.
Shareholder Litigation and Corporate Disclosure: Evidence from Derivative Lawsuits
Using the staggered adoption of universal demand (UD) laws in the United States, we study the effect of shareholder litigation risk on corporate disclosure. We find that disclosure significantly increases after UD laws make it more difficult to file derivative lawsuits. Specifically, firms issue more earnings forecasts and voluntary 8-K filings, and increase the length of management discussion and analysis (MD&A) in their 10-K filings. We further assess the direct and indirect channels through which UD laws affect firms' disclosure policies. We find that the effect of UD laws on corporate disclosure is driven by firms facing relatively higher ex ante derivative litigation risk and higher operating uncertainty, as well as firms for which shareholder litigation is a more important mechanism to discipline managers.
Do Non-socially Responsible Companies Achieve Legitimacy Through Socially Responsible Actions? The Mediating Effect of Innovation
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-09)
This study investigates the effects on organization’s financial performances of, first, the extent to which the organizations are involved in controversial business activities, and second, their level of social performance. These companies can be considered non-socially responsible given the harmful nature of the activities they are involved in. Managers of these companies may still have incentives to pursue socially responsible actions if they believe that engaging on those actions will help them to achieve legitimacy and improve investors’ perception about them. We develop a comprehensive methodology to investigate these corporate social performance (CSP)-related effects in a complex but specific setting. To this end, we analyze a sample of 202 US firms for the period 2005–2008 using a novel method in this area: partial least squares. Our results indicate that, contrary to the general findings in prior literature, companies involved in controversial business activities which engage in CSP do not directly reduce the negative perception that stakeholders have about them. Instead, we found evidence of a positive mediation effect of CSP on financial market-based performance through innovation.
Asbestos Contamination: Governance and Financial Reporting Issues in the Public, Private and Not-for-profit Sectors
We explore implications of asbestos for the measurement and reporting of liabilities, assets and expenses by diverse entities. We argue that entities in both public and private sectors are failing to recognise or appropriately measure liabilities related to asbestos and that the implications of asbestos for assets and expenses in financial statements are rarely reported. While we focus on recognition and measurement implications for Australian entities, we also examine relevant requirements in other jurisdictions and for sustainability reporting.