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Corporate governance and accounting irregularities: Canadian evidence


  • Nadia Smaili

    () (University of Quebec in Montreal Business School)

  • Réal Labelle

    () (HEC Montréal)


Abstract This study examines the extent to which corporate governance acts as an efficient means of protecting investors against accounting irregularities. It is grounded in the literatures on public enforcement of securities laws by market authorities, governance, and fraudulent financial statements. A unique feature of the Canadian tracking and enforcement system for reporting issuers in default is used to refine the definitions of accounting irregularities or fraudulent financial statements used in other studies. We test and find that the governance mechanisms of firms found in default of financial reporting regulations during the first 5 years of existence of the Canadian system are weak compared to a sample of no-default firms. For instance, they have fewer independent and financial expert directors on their boards and audit committees, are more prone to have recently changed auditor and to having their CEO as chair of the board. They also appear to fulfill their financing requirements through private rather than public funds, which is consistent with the fact that default firms are less likely to be in a position to return to the public market to fulfill their needs. This study offers evidence relevant to policy makers and others who are concerned with the potential role of market authorities and governance in protecting investors against accounting irregularities.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadia Smaili & Réal Labelle, 2016. "Corporate governance and accounting irregularities: Canadian evidence," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(3), pages 625-653, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:20:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10997-015-9314-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-015-9314-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, February.
    2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    3. Nadia Smaili & Réal Labelle & Hervé Stolowy, 2009. "La publication d'une information financière non conforme à la loi et aux normes : déterminants et conséquences," Comptabilité - Contrôle - Audit, Association francophone de comptabilité, vol. 15(1), pages 159-198.
    4. Klein, April, 2002. "Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 375-400, August.
    5. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    6. Giulia Romano & Andrea Guerrini, 2012. "Corporate governance and accounting enforcement actions in Italy," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 27(7), pages 622-638, July.
    7. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    8. Kinney, William Jr. & McDaniel, Linda S., 1989. "Characteristics of firms correcting previously reported quarterly earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 71-93, February.
    9. Mason Gerety & Kenneth Lehn, 1997. "The causes and consequences of accounting fraud," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7-8), pages 587-599.
    10. Stanley, Jonathan D. & Todd DeZoort, F., 2007. "Audit firm tenure and financial restatements: An analysis of industry specialization and fee effects," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 131-159.
    11. Agrawal, Anup & Chadha, Sahiba, 2005. "Corporate Governance and Accounting Scandals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 371-406, October.
    12. repec:eee:reacre:v:26:y:2014:i:1:p:40-53 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Governance; Accounting irregularity; Financial reporting quality; Fraudulent financial statement; Restatement; Regulation; Reporting issuer in default;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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