IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal Precision of Accounting Information in Debt Financing


  • Robert Gox
  • Alfred Wagenhofer


This paper studies qualitative characteristics of accounting systems that are used in debt financing. We consider a financially constrained firm that provides to lenders information on the value of assets that serve as collateral in a financing contract for a risky investment project. We find that the investor prefers an accounting system that provides biased signals about the value of assets. This bias adjusts the information content of the signals to maximize the probability of undertaking the project. Under fair value accounting, low book values are more precise measures of actual value than high book values, which is consistent with conditional conservatism. Next, we study accounting risk to study the effect of institutions that govern the financial reporting policy based on the optimal precision. We find that fair value measurement introduces greater accounting risk and is preferred by financially constrained firms to measurement at historical cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Gox & Alfred Wagenhofer, 2010. "Optimal Precision of Accounting Information in Debt Financing," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 579-602.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:579-602
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2010.496546

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Inder K. Khurana & Changjiang Wang, 2015. "Debt Maturity Structure and Accounting Conservatism," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1-2), pages 167-203, January.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:579-602. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.