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 Department: Department of Accounting
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
An Analysis of Corporate Accounting and Reporting Practices in Bahrain

An Analysis of Corporate Accounting and Reporting Practices in Bahrain

Date: December 1993
Creator: Abdul-Rahim, Hassan M.
Description: The primary objective of this dissertation is to determine the factors that have shaped the corporate financial reporting practices in Bahrain. Prior researchers have offered two explanations, environmental factors and cultural importation, for the emergence of financial reporting practices in developing countries. The environmental explanation suggests that a nation's financial reporting practices will be shaped by its socioeconomic structure. The cultural importation explanation states that the desire for international legitimacy creates incentives for developing nation to adopt Western financial reporting practices. Bahrain provided an excellent environment in which to examine the two explanations since its public and closed corporations have similar economic characteristics. Only public corporations are legally required to publish financial reports. I posited that public corporations would try to gain legitimacy for their published reports by adopting Western standards, while closed corporations would not have a similar incentive. I used an interpretive framework to analyze the Bahrain socioeconomic environment and to examine the general financial reporting practices of Bahraini corporations. I found that closed corporations provided data responsive to the Bahraini environment. Public corporations, however, adopted International Accounting Standards. My analysis supported prior researchers7 findings that colonialism, the need for international legitimacy, and international audit firms were important ...
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The Impact of the Ceiling Test Write-off on the Security Returns of Full Cost Oil and Gas Firms

The Impact of the Ceiling Test Write-off on the Security Returns of Full Cost Oil and Gas Firms

Date: May 1992
Creator: AlDiab, Taisier F. (Taisier Fares)
Description: This study examined the impact of the ceiling test write-off on the stock prices of affected full cost (FC) oil and gas firms.
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An investigation of the effects of SFAS No.121 on asset impairment reporting and stock returns

An investigation of the effects of SFAS No.121 on asset impairment reporting and stock returns

Date: December 2001
Creator: Alshabani, Waleed Mohammad
Description: Prior to Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No.121 (SFAS No.121): Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of, managers had substantial discretion concerning the amount and timing of reporting writedowns of long-lived assets. Moreover, the frequency and dollar amount of asset writedown announcements that led to a large “surprise” caused the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to consider the need for a new standard to guide the recording of impairment of long-lived assets. This study has two primary objectives. First, it investigates the effects of SFAS No.121 on asset impairment reporting, examining whether SFAS No.121 reduces the magnitude and restricts the timing of reporting asset writedowns. Second, the study compares the information content (surprise element) of the asset impairment loss announcement as measured by cumulative abnormal returns (CAR) before and after the issuance of SFAS No.121. The findings provide support for the hypothesis that the FASB's new accounting standard does not affect the magnitude of asset writedown losses. The findings also provide support for the hypothesis that SFAS No. 121 does not affect the management choice of the timing for reporting asset writedowns. In addition, the findings ...
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The Contrast-Inertia Model and the Updating of Attributions in Performance Evaluation

The Contrast-Inertia Model and the Updating of Attributions in Performance Evaluation

Date: December 1989
Creator: Atkinson, Sue Andrews
Description: The two problems which motivate this research concern the role of managerial accounting information in performance evaluation. The first problem is that the processing of accounting information by individual managers may deviate from a normative (Bayesian) pattern. Second, managers' use of accounting information in performance appraisal may contribute to conflict between superiors and subordinates. In this research, I applied the contrast-inertia model (C-IM) and attribution theory (AT) to predict how accounting information affects managers' beliefs about the causes for observed performance. The C-IM describes how new evidence is incorporated into opinions. Application of the C-IM leads to the prediction that information order may influence managers' opinions. Attribution theory is concerned with how people use information to assign causality, especially for success or failure. Together, the C-IM and AT imply that causal beliefs of superiors and subordinates diverge when they assimilate accounting information. Three experiments were performed with manufacturing managers as subjects. Most of the subjects were middle-level production managers from Texas manufacturing plants. The subjects used accounting information in revising their beliefs about causes for performance problems. In the experiments, the manipulated factors were the order of information, subject role (superior or subordinate), and the position of different types of ...
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An Analysis of the Incremental Information Gain in Combining Economic, Socio-Political, and Joint-Decision Characterizations in a Study of Accounting Choice: the Case of SFAS 106

An Analysis of the Incremental Information Gain in Combining Economic, Socio-Political, and Joint-Decision Characterizations in a Study of Accounting Choice: the Case of SFAS 106

Date: August 1996
Creator: Baker, Pamela Smith (Pamela Smith Elaine)
Description: Typical accounting studies attempting to explain accounting method choice employ positive theoretical hypotheses and test for association between adoption method or adoption timing and economic measures that focus upon specific firm stakeholders. Such studies addressing the adoption and impact of SFAS 87, "Employer's Accounting for Pensions," yield mixed and contradicting results. Various researchers have suggested that traditional economic analysis often fails to capture important explanatory variables and is far too simplistic. The purpose of this study is to expand analysis by evaluating a particular accounting choice by means of three different characterizations. SFAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other than Pensions," allows management to choose between two very different methods of adopting the standard. The principal question explored in this study is: why did managers of firms that employ defined benefit postretirement plans for benefits other than pensions choose to adopt SFAS 106 using a particular method? The research question is explored by means of three different characterizations: 1) a traditional economic characterization; 2) a sociopolitical characterization); and 3) a joint decision characterization. Logit methodology is used with method of SFAS 106 adoption as the binary dependent variable of interest. Results indicate that all three characterizations are important in ...
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An Empirical Investigation of the Lobbying Influence of Large Corporations on Selected FASB Standards

An Empirical Investigation of the Lobbying Influence of Large Corporations on Selected FASB Standards

Date: May 1988
Creator: Beckman, Ronald J. (Ronald James)
Description: The Financial Accounting Standards Board is a private sector rule making body. Congressional inquiries have questioned whether the setting of accountin standards should remain in the private sector. Congressional critics have charged that the FASB has been captured by special interests and recommended that a governmental agency assume responsibility for standard setting. Specifically, critics charge that large corporations capture the Big Eight accounting firms who, in turn, have captured the FASB. Previous capture studies have concluded that the standard setting process is pluralistic and that the FASB has not been captured. The studies have focused on the influence of the Big Eight to determine if the FASB has been captured. They assume if standards do not reflect the expressed preferences of the Big Eight, then Congressional criticisms are invalid. The studies also assume a unidirectional influence between participants in the process and have ignored the intensity of preferences of the respondents.The purpose of this study is to provide a theoretical framework to specify selection of standards that would be expected to be subject to capture. This framework also recognizes the duo-directional nature of influence. The allegations of capture were tested using the standards selected in accordance with the theoretical framework. ...
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Accounting Measurement Bias and Executive Compensation Systems

Accounting Measurement Bias and Executive Compensation Systems

Date: December 1994
Creator: Boone, Jeffery Paul
Description: This dissertation presents empirical evidence intended to help answer two research questions. The first question asks whether executive compensation systems appear to exploit the bias in accounting-based performance measures in order to reduce the volatility in executive compensation and to allocate incentives more effectively across the range of activities performed by the executive. The second question asks whether compensation systems systematically differ between firms that use alternative accounting methods and whether any such systematic difference helps explain accounting choice. Parameters estimated in fixed-effects endogenous switching regression models were used to test the risk-shielding and incentive-allocation hypotheses. The models were estimated across a dataset consisting of 1151 executive-year observations of annual compensation paid to 222 top-level executives in 40 oil and gas firms. The dataset was partitioned by accounting method and separate models estimated for the full cost and successful efforts partitions. The tests provided modest support for the risk-shielding and incentive-allocation hypotheses, revealing that accounting measurement bias is used to focus incentives for effort in the exploration activity and to reduce executives' exposure to production risk. The design also allowed an estimate of the proportional change in compensation that was realized from the accounting choice actually made.
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The Impact of the 1986 and 1987 Qualified Plan Regulation on Firms' Decision to Switch from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution for Plans Larger than 100 Participants

The Impact of the 1986 and 1987 Qualified Plan Regulation on Firms' Decision to Switch from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution for Plans Larger than 100 Participants

Date: December 1993
Creator: Bradley, Linda Jacobsen
Description: The purpose of this research was to examine the United States population of plans with over 100 participants to determine the extent of the reaction away from defined benefit plans resulting from the 1986 and 1987 legislation.
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An Analysis of Smoothing of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities and an Analysis of Bias and Variability in Revisions of Previous Estimates of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities

An Analysis of Smoothing of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities and an Analysis of Bias and Variability in Revisions of Previous Estimates of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities

Date: August 1988
Creator: Campbell, Alan D.
Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether oil and gas producing companies smooth their ending reserve quantities. Smoothing is defined as a reduction in variance in the trend of ending reserve quantities over time compared to the trend of ending reserve quantities less the hypothesized smoothing variable over time. This study focuses on two variables that are most susceptible to manipulation—revisions of previous estimates and additions. This study also examines whether revisions are positively or negatively biased and the variability of the revisions. The sample consists of 70 companies chosen from oil & Gas Reserve Disclosures: 1980-1984 Survey of 400 Public Companies by Arthur Andersen and Company. For each company, ending reserve quantities for the years 1978-1984 were regressed over time, and the standard deviation of the estimate (SDE) was calculated. Then the ending reserve quantities less the hypothesized smoothing variable were regressed over time, and the SDE was calculated. A linear model and a semi-logarithmic model were used. A smoothing ratio (SR) was determined by dividing the SDE of reserves less the hypothesized smoothing variable by the SDE of ending reserve quantities. An SR greater than one indicates smoothing, and an SR less than one indicates that ...
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An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Fraud Specialist and Audit Mindsets on Fraud Risk Assessments and on the Development of Fraud-Related Problem Representations

An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Fraud Specialist and Audit Mindsets on Fraud Risk Assessments and on the Development of Fraud-Related Problem Representations

Date: August 2010
Creator: Chui, Lawrence
Description: Fraud risk assessment is an important audit process that has a direct impact on the effectiveness of auditors' fraud detection in an audit. However, prior literature has shown that auditors are generally poor at assessing fraud risk. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) suggests that auditors may improve their fraud risk assessment performance by adopting a fraud specialist mindset. A fraud specialist mindset is a special way of thinking about accounting records. While auditors think about the company's recorded transactions in terms of the availability of supporting documentations and the authenticity of the audit trail, fraud specialists think instead of accounting records in terms of the authenticity of the events and activities that are behind the reported transactions. Currently there is no study that has examined the effects of the fraud specialist mindset on auditors' fraud risk assessment performance. In addition, although recent studies have found that fraud specialists are more sensitive than auditors in discerning fraud risk factors in situation where a high level of fraud risk is present, it remains unclear whether the same can be said for situation where the risk of fraud is low. Thus, the purpose of my dissertation is to examine the effects ...
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The Relationship between Privatization, Culture, Adoption of International Accounting Standards, and Accounting in Egypt

The Relationship between Privatization, Culture, Adoption of International Accounting Standards, and Accounting in Egypt

Date: December 1998
Creator: Dahawy, Khaled M.
Description: This study explores how the Egyptian socioeconomic factors impacted the implementation of International Accounting Standards (IASs) in Egypt. Prior research concluded that developing nations have special needs when it comes to accounting and financial reporting and recommended nation-specific analysis. The author adapts Gray's (1988) model, which connects Hofstede's cultural dimensions with accounting practice, to fit the Egyptian environment.
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Financial Reporting in Poland: Privatization of Select Firms Traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange

Financial Reporting in Poland: Privatization of Select Firms Traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange

Date: December 1996
Creator: De la Rosa, Denise M. (Denise Mary), 1949-
Description: Poland's transition from a centrally-planned economy (CPE) to a market economy began in 1989. Building a market economy out of the failures of a CPE represents an unprecedented process in the history of economic development. At the core of the transition is the privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Many problems encountered during privatization are accounting related, and before privatization can occur valuation issues must be resolved. What has been the role of accounting in Poland's transition? Accounting is an interactive process that reflects and creates reality. The accounting process facilitates the calculation of the value created by a firm by attempting to trace the flow of resources through the value-creating process, and it identifies, measures, records, summarizes, and reports transactions. How these transactions are internalized determines how they flow through the accounting process, and, because the former SOEs are complex organizations in transition, decisions concerning when and how to record events can be diverse. The primary objective of this study is to provide insight into the accounting transition in Poland by addressing issues of ownership rights, valuation, financial reporting, and disclosure. The research question is: How is accounting transforming and being transformed in Poland? The research question is addressed in ...
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A Study of Firm Location to Examine Disclosures and Governance Using a Dual Approach: Quantitative Analysis Based upon the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Qualitative Analysis of the Annual Report’s Management Discussion and Analysis

A Study of Firm Location to Examine Disclosures and Governance Using a Dual Approach: Quantitative Analysis Based upon the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Qualitative Analysis of the Annual Report’s Management Discussion and Analysis

Date: May 2015
Creator: Garner, Steve A.
Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the effect of U.S. firms’ geographic location, whether urban or rural, on their corporate disclosure and governance practices. An “urban” firm is one that is headquartered in a large metropolitan area; whereas, a “rural” firm is one that is headquartered some distance from any metropolitan area. Specifically, the study examines whether there are different stock market reactions to urban and rural firms around key event dates relative to the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on July 30, 2002. Also, the readability and linguistic style in the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of public company’s annual reports (Form 10-K) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are investigated to determine whether urban and rural firms communicate information differently to investors.
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The Impact of Ambiguity and Risk on the Auditor's Assessment of Inherent Risk and Control Risk

The Impact of Ambiguity and Risk on the Auditor's Assessment of Inherent Risk and Control Risk

Date: August 1993
Creator: Guess, Aundrea Kay
Description: The purpose of this study was to try to identify the impact of ambiguity and risk on the auditor's judgment about inherent risk and control risk when planning the audit. A second purpose was to determine how ambiguity tolerance/intolerance affects judgment.
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The Effects of Interactions with IRS Employees on Tax Practitioners' Attitudes toward the IRS

The Effects of Interactions with IRS Employees on Tax Practitioners' Attitudes toward the IRS

Date: December 1992
Creator: Gutierrez, Theresa Kay
Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of interactions with IRS employees on tax practitioners' attitudes toward the IRS. The mission of the IRS is to inspire the highest degree of public confidence as it collects the proper amount of tax revenues at the least cost to the public. The IRS believes it must project a favorable image to tax practitioners in order to foster a high level of support for its mission. Prior surveys of tax practitioners found that practitioners have generally unfavorable attitudes toward the IRS and its employees. This study examined whether the unfavorable attitudes result from interactions with IRS employees, and provides empirical evidence of the effects of interactions with IRS employees on tax practitioners' attitudes toward the IRS.
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An examination of the factors that influence an auditor's decision to use a decision aid in their assessment of management fraud.

An examination of the factors that influence an auditor's decision to use a decision aid in their assessment of management fraud.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Hayes, Thomas Patrick
Description: In recent years, the accounting profession has faced increased scrutiny because of scandals involving management fraud (e.g., Enron, WorldCom). In response, Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) #99 has expanded auditors' responsibility for detecting fraud, requiring auditors to gather significantly more information in their assessment of fraud. In addition, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) will focus on fraud detection through their inspections of registered accounting firms. In light of the increased emphasis on auditors' responsibility for detecting fraud, public accounting firms face the challenge of improving their fraud detection process, including their assessment of management fraud risk. Decision aids are one way for auditors to improve their assessment of management fraud risk. In fact, several studies from the decision aid literature suggest that aids are useful tools for a variety of tasks, including fraud risk assessment. At the same time, another stream of the decision aid reliance literature, which looks at people's willingness to rely on decision aids, suggests that individuals tend to be reluctant to accept the output given by an aid. Thus, the primary focus of this paper is on uncovering factors that would encourage one to voluntarily use and rely upon a decision aid. Toward that ...
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An Exploratory Investigation of Socio-Economic Phenomena that May Influence Accounting Differences in Three Diverse Countries

An Exploratory Investigation of Socio-Economic Phenomena that May Influence Accounting Differences in Three Diverse Countries

Date: August 1989
Creator: Hudack, Lawrence R. (Lawrence Ralph)
Description: This dissertation attempts to provide an exploratory structure to respond to, and tries to resolve, an existing void in international accounting research. The void is a lack of coherently structured, nation-specific, descriptive research to investigate socio-economic phenomena which may influence financial accounting. This dissertation's salient features include a political economy theory, an exploratory, sociological method, and a case study format. The political economy of accounting, introduced by Tinker [1980] and refined by Cooper and Sherer [1984], emphasizes a persuasive social relations dimension. This theory motivates selection of three countries (the United States, France, and Japan) that appear to have divergent socio-cultural environments. An exploratory and analytical approach of modified (enlarged) exogenism, developed by Smith [1973, 1976] and adapted to accounting by McKinnon [1986], provides an analytic structure for this exploratory investigation. Modified exogenism focuses upon an open, dynamic social system (the process of financial accounting), and provides analysis reflecting four major areas (the environment, intrusive events, intra-system activity, and trans-system activity). After examining the nation-specific financial accounting (socio-economic) structures for each country, an analysis of selected financial disclosures attempts to gain a better understanding of how socio-economic factors have influenced the development of financial accounting. My primary objective is to ...
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Fluency Training as a Pedagogical Tool to Improve Performance of Undergraduate Students Enrolled in the First Financial Accounting Course at a Regional Oklahoma University

Fluency Training as a Pedagogical Tool to Improve Performance of Undergraduate Students Enrolled in the First Financial Accounting Course at a Regional Oklahoma University

Date: December 1998
Creator: Huffman, William E. (William Eugene)
Description: This study contributes to the debate on accounting pedagogy in the basic financial accounting course by examining the pedagogical tool of fluency training as a way to improve student performance. Fluency training has been shown to improve performance of students in other academic disciplines.
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Taxpayer compliance from three perspectives: A study of economic, environmental, and personal determinants.

Taxpayer compliance from three perspectives: A study of economic, environmental, and personal determinants.

Date: May 2016
Creator: Hunt, Nicholas C
Description: Tax evasion is a serious issue that influences governmental revenues, IRS enforcement strategies, and tax policy decisions. While audits are the most effective method of enforcing compliance, they are expensive to conduct and the IRS is only able to audit a fraction of the returns filed each year. This suggests that audits alone are not sufficient to curb the billions of dollars of tax evaded by taxpayers each year and that a better understanding of factors influencing compliance decisions is needed to enable policymakers to craft tax policies that maximize voluntary compliance. Prior research tends to model compliance as economic, environmental, or personal decisions; however, this study models it as a multifaceted decision where these three perspective individually and interactively influence compliance. It is the first to decompose perceived detection risk into two dimensions (selection risk and enforcement risk) and investigates how these two dimensions of risk, decision domains (refund or tax due positions), and three personal factors (mental accounting, narcissism, and proactivity) influence taxpayers’ compliance decisions. I conducted a 2x2 fully crossed experiment involving 331 self-employed taxpayers. These taxpayers have opportunities to evade that employed taxpayers do not. For example, they can earn cash income that is not reported ...
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Tax Compliance in a Social Setting: the Influence of Norms, Perceptions of Fairness, and Trust in Government on Taxpayer Compliance

Tax Compliance in a Social Setting: the Influence of Norms, Perceptions of Fairness, and Trust in Government on Taxpayer Compliance

Date: August 2013
Creator: Jimenez, Peggy D.
Description: Many taxing authorities, including those in the United States (U.S.), rely on voluntary tax compliance and continually search for ways to increase tax revenues. Most of these methods are costly and labor intensive, such as audits and penalties for noncompliance. Prior tax compliance research has heavily investigated the influence that economic factors, such as tax rates and penalties, have on individual compliance intentions. However, economic models fail to fully predict individual tax compliance. Psychology literature suggests that social factors may also play an important role in individual tax compliance decisions. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence that social and psychological factors have on individuals' tax compliance intentions. Specifically, a model of taxpayer compliance is hypothesized that suggests that norms, perceived fairness of the tax system, and trust in government have a significant influence on compliance intentions. Results of a survey of 217 U.S. taxpayers found support for the influence of social factors on tax compliance. This research concludes that social norms have an indirect influence on compliance intentions through internalization as personal norms. Specifically, as the strength of social norms in favor of tax compliance increase, personal norms of tax compliance also increase, and this leads ...
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Balanced Scorecards: An Experimental Study of the Effects of Linking the Evaluators' and Subordinates' Balanced Scorecards on Performance Evaluation.

Balanced Scorecards: An Experimental Study of the Effects of Linking the Evaluators' and Subordinates' Balanced Scorecards on Performance Evaluation.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Kang, Gerui
Description: In the early 1990s, Robert Kaplan and David Norton introduced and developed a new performance measurement and management system called the balanced scorecard (BSC). Most studies have found that evaluators tend to ignore or are not willing to use nonfinancial measures. This study attempts to examine whether the explicit linkage between the evaluator's BSC and the subordinate's BSC makes the evaluators use nonfinancial measures in performance evaluation. This study used an experimental design where subjects were asked to evaluate two managers' performance under explicit linkage versus nonexplicit linkage conditions. The difference between performance evaluation scores of the two managers under the two linkage conditions captures the influence of explicit linkage between BSCs on performance evaluation. I used regression analyses to test my hypothesis. The results of the regression analyses support my hypothesis. This study attempts to explore one possible reason for evaluators' not using nonfinancial measures much in performance evaluation. It is the first one that studies the influence of the linkage between the BSCs on performance evaluation.
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Team performance: Using financial measures to evaluate the effect of support systems on team performance.

Team performance: Using financial measures to evaluate the effect of support systems on team performance.

Date: May 2002
Creator: Kennedy, Frances Anne
Description: Organizations invest in team-based systems in order to generate innovative practices that will give them a competitive edge. High-performing teams require training and other support systems to gain the skills they need as well as to create and maintain an environment conducive to their success. The challenge for managers is to make resource allocation decisions among investment alternatives to maximize team effectiveness and still ensure a financial return for company investors. This study has three objectives. The first objective is to investigate whether there is a positive relationship among organizational environment, team potency (the team's collective belief it will succeed) and team performance. Results indicate that the presence of four organizational support systems influences team potency and performance. These support systems are the Design and Measurement, Rewards, Training and Communications Systems. In addition, results indicate that team potency is a mediating variable between the Design and Measurement and Communications Systems and team performance. These results suggest that companies are able to influence team performance by investing in environmental support systems. The second objective is to examine whether team members and managers view the organizational environment differently. Results indicate that managers view the Training and Communications Systems as more important, while ...
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A Comparison of Cognitive Moral Development of Accounting Students at a Catholic University with Secular University Accounting Students

A Comparison of Cognitive Moral Development of Accounting Students at a Catholic University with Secular University Accounting Students

Date: April 1998
Creator: Koeplin, John P. (John Peter)
Description: Previous research has shown that accountants may be inadequate moral reasoners. Concern over this trend caused the Treadway Commission (1987) and the Accounting Education Change Commission (1990) to call for greater integration of ethics into the student's training. Ponemon and Glazer (1990) found a difference in cognitive moral development (CMD) between accounting students at a public university and a private university with a liberal arts emphasis. This study expands Ponemon and Glazer's research by examining two liberal arts universities, one a private, secular institution and one a Catholic institution. The primary research question asks if Catholic university accounting students manifest greater CMD growth than secular university accounting students. Additionally, this study examines and compares the priority that accounting students from the different institutions place on ethical values versus economic values. It was expected that Catholic university accounting students would manifest both greater CMD growth and a greater concern for ethical values over economic values when compared with non-Catholic university accounting students. The study utilized a two-phase approach. In the first phase, an organizational study of two institutions was made to determine how each strives to integrate moral development into their accounting students' education. In the second phase, lower-division and senior ...
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Regulation and Political Costs in the Oil and Gas Industry: An Investigation of Discretion in Reporting Earnings and Oil and Gas Reserves Estimates

Regulation and Political Costs in the Oil and Gas Industry: An Investigation of Discretion in Reporting Earnings and Oil and Gas Reserves Estimates

Date: August 2010
Creator: Kurdi, Ammr
Description: This study investigates the use of discretion by oil and gas companies in reporting financial performance and oil and gas reserve estimates during times of high political scrutiny resulting from increases in energy prices. Hypotheses tested in prior literature state that companies facing the risk of increasing taxes or new regulations reduce reported earnings to reduce this risk. This study uses a measure of high profitability (rank order of return on assets relative to industry peers) to identify oil and gas companies more likely to manage earnings during the period from 2002 to 2008. Two measures of discretionary accruals (total and current discretionary accruals), and a measure of discretionary depreciation, depletion, and amortization (DDA) were used as indicators of discretion exercised in reporting earnings. Data on oil and gas reserve disclosures was also hand-collected from Forms 10-K to investigate whether managers use reserve estimate revisions to reduce reported earnings through increasing the annual depletion expense. Results suggest that both oil and gas refining and producing firms use negative discretionary accruals to reduce reported earnings. Results also indicate that profitability is an important determinant of the use of negative discretionary accruals by these companies regardless of the time period examined. There ...
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