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Environmental uncertainty and managers' use of discretionary accruals

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  • Ghosh, Dipankar
  • Olsen, Lori

Abstract

Although an organization's environmental uncertainty may induce greater variability in reported earnings, managers have incentives to reduce this variability. The flexibility accorded by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) provides managers the means to accomplish this via exercising discretion in recognizing accounting accruals. Thus, we examine the relation between managers' use of discretionary accruals and environmental uncertainty. Overall, evidence suggests managers use discretionary accruals to reduce the variability in reported earnings more when firms operate in high uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghosh, Dipankar & Olsen, Lori, 2009. "Environmental uncertainty and managers' use of discretionary accruals," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 188-205, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:2:p:188-205
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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Dacian Cuzdriorean, 2013. "Most Recent Findings In Earnings Management Area: Interesting Insights From Traditionally Top 5 Leading Accounting Journals," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 2(15), pages 1-5.
    2. Hermes, Cornelis & Oxelheim, L. & Randoy, Trond & Hooghiemstra, Reginald, 2015. "The impact of board internationalization on earnings management," Research Report 15010-I&O, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    3. Cathy Beaudoin & Anna Cianci & George Tsakumis, 2015. "The Impact of CFOs’ Incentives and Earnings Management Ethics on their Financial Reporting Decisions: The Mediating Role of Moral Disengagement," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 505-518, May.
    4. Arif, Salman & Marshall, Nathan & Yohn, Teri Lombardi, 2016. "Understanding the relation between accruals and volatility: A real options-based investment approach," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 65-86.

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