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Discretionary accounting choices and the predictive ability of accruals with respect to future cash flows

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  • Badertscher, Brad A.
  • Collins, Daniel W.
  • Lys, Thomas Z.

Abstract

Using a sample of restatement firms and a meet-or-beat model to classify firms as making discretionary accounting choices for opportunistic meet-or-beat (OP-MB) reasons, we show that originally reported earnings and accrual components are less predictive of future cash flows relative to the restated numbers. We find the opposite is true for firms classified as making discretionary accounting choices for non-OP-MB reasons. We consider a number of competing explanations for these latter results. Our findings are most consistent with the informational hypothesis, weakly consistent with conservative-motivated efficient contracting hypotheses, but inconsistent with opportunistic contracting and misapplication/errors of GAAP explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • Badertscher, Brad A. & Collins, Daniel W. & Lys, Thomas Z., 2012. "Discretionary accounting choices and the predictive ability of accruals with respect to future cash flows," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 330-352.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:330-352
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2011.11.003
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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. repec:spr:reaccs:v:22:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11142-017-9387-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Elizabeth A. Gordon & Elaine Henry & Bjorn N. Jorgensen & Cheryl L. Linthicum, 2017. "Flexibility in cash-flow classification under IFRS: determinants and consequences," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 839-872, June.
    4. repec:eee:reveco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:437-452 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Forough Heirany & Mahmoud Moeinadin & Manije Nazemizadeh, 2014. "The Role of Accrual Decomposition in Increasing the Information Value," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(1), pages 309-318, January.
    6. Dou, Yiwei & Khan, Mozaffar & Zou, Youli, 2016. "Labor unemployment insurance and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 166-184.
    7. repec:eee:aosoci:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yaniv Konchitchki & Yan Luo & Mary L. Z. Ma & Feng Wu, 2016. "Accounting-based downside risk, cost of capital, and the macroeconomy," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, March.
    9. Sanjay W. Bissessur & David Veenman, 2016. "Analyst information precision and small earnings surprises," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 1327-1360, December.
    10. Chen, Changling & Kim, Jeong-Bon & Yao, Li, 2017. "Earnings smoothing: Does it exacerbate or constrain stock price crash risk?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 36-54.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discretionary accruals; Earnings management; Restatements; Cash flows; Predictive ability of accruals;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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