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Firms' use of accounting discretion to influence their credit ratings

Author

Listed:
  • Alissa, Walid
  • Bonsall, Samuel B.
  • Koharki, Kevin
  • Penn, Michael W.

Abstract

This paper examines whether firms that deviate from an empirically modeled (“expected”) credit rating engage in earnings management activities, as measured by abnormal accruals and real activities earnings management. We find evidence that firms use income-increasing (-decreasing) earnings management activities when they are below (above) their expected ratings. We then test whether such actions are successful in helping these firms move toward their expected credit ratings. The results suggest that firms below or above their expected credit ratings may be able to move toward expected ratings through the use of directional earnings management.

Suggested Citation

  • Alissa, Walid & Bonsall, Samuel B. & Koharki, Kevin & Penn, Michael W., 2013. "Firms' use of accounting discretion to influence their credit ratings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 129-147.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:55:y:2013:i:2:p:129-147
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2013.01.001
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2016. "Financial reporting language in financial statements: Does pessimism restrict the potential for managerial opportunism?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Lim, Steve C. & Mann, Steven C. & Mihov, Vassil T., 2017. "Do operating leases expand credit capacity? Evidence from borrowing costs and credit ratings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 100-114.
    3. Aktas, Nihat & Karampatsas, Nikolaos & Petmezas, Dimitris & Servaes, Henri, 2015. "Credit Ratings and Acquisitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 10719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Caskey, Judson & Ozel, N. Bugra, 2017. "Earnings expectations and employee safety," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 121-141.
    5. Bereskin, Frederick L. & Kim, Bushik & Oh, Frederick Dongchuhl, 2015. "Do credit rating concerns lead to better corporate governance? Evidence from Korea," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PB), pages 592-608.
    6. Alina Beattrice Vladu & Oriol Amat & Dan Dacian Cuzdriorean, 2014. "Truthfulness in accounting: How to discriminate accounting manipulators from non-manipulators," Economics Working Papers 1434, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Like Jiang & Michel Magnan & Lixin (Nancy) Su & Shafu Zhang, 2018. "Damage Control: Earnings Management by Firms Facing Product Harm Crises / Dérapage contrôlé : gestion des résultats par les entreprises qui font face à une crise résultant d’un rappel de produits," CIRANO Working Papers 2018s-01, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; Expected ratings; Earnings management; Accruals; Real activities;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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