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Unequal Impact of Conservatism on Accrual Measures and Drivers: Implications for the Specification of Accrual Models

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  • José António Moreira

    ()
    (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Peter F. Pope

    ()
    (ICRA, Management School, Lancaster University)

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    Abstract

    This study makes two main contributions to the literature. Firstly, it tests empirically the relative timeliness of accrual measures and earnings components used as explanatory variables in accrual models (“accrual drivers”) regarding the impact of conservatism. Secondly, taking into account the empirical evidence on such a timeliness, it discusses intuitively potential implications for the specification of (traditional) accrual models and the quality of discretionary accrual estimates. It concludes that common accrual models, as Jones (1991), are misspecified. They have a dependent variable (accruals) asymmetrically affected by conservatism, and one or more explanatory variables that are not affected, inducing a non-systematic measurement error in estimating discretionary accruals.

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    File URL: http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/cete/papers/dp0604.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 0604.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: May 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0604

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    Related research

    Keywords: accruals; accrual models; discretionary accruals; conservatism.;

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    1. Ball, Ray & Shivakumar, Lakshmanan, 2005. "Earnings quality in UK private firms: comparative loss recognition timeliness," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 83-128, February.
    2. Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2000. "The changing time-series properties of earnings, cash flows and accruals: Has financial reporting become more conservative?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 287-320, June.
    3. Paul Hribar, 2002. "Errors in Estimating Accruals: Implications for Empirical Research," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-134, 03.
    4. Basu, Sudipta, 1997. "The conservatism principle and the asymmetric timeliness of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-37, December.
    5. Thomas, Jacob & Zhang, Xiao-jun, 2000. "Identifying unexpected accruals: a comparison of current approaches," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4-5), pages 347-376.
    6. Guay, W. & Kothari, S.P. & Watts, R.L., 1996. "A Market-Based Evaluation of Discretionary-Accrual Models," Papers 96-01, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
    7. Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 1998. "Relative valuation roles of equity book value and net income as a function of financial health," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-34, February.
    8. Steven Young, 1999. "Systematic Measurement Error in the Estimation of Discretionary Accruals: An Evaluation of Alternative Modelling Procedures," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(7&8), pages 833-862.
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