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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Accounting
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Changing Role and Responsibilities of Audit Committees in the United States

The Changing Role and Responsibilities of Audit Committees in the United States

Date: August 2010
Creator: Teed, Dan Graham
Description: The corporate form that developed in the early 20th century created enormous pressure for corporate governance mechanisms to curb the power of corporate managers. Berle and Means, legal pluralists, warned about concentrating economic power in the hands of a small but powerful class of professional managers. They claimed this "new form of absolutism" required governmental oversight and viewed boards of directors as part of management, rather than monitors for shareholders. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed that corporations establish a special board committee, made up of "nonofficer members" in response to the McKesson & Robbins scandal of the late 1930s. My dissertation examines the evolution of the U.S. corporate audit committee through three specific time periods: (1) 1920-1954; (2) 1955-1986; and (3) 1987 to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. My purpose is to determine if evolution of the audit committee throughout these periods has been a reform continually couched in symbolism or whether the audit committee concept has evolved into real reform, allowing proper corporate governance and mitigation of unchecked corporate power. My analysis is a traditional empirical analysis, relying on both primary and secondary sources to develop a coherent ordering of facts. I use narrative ...
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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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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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Does the knowledge of unaudited account balances adversely affect the performance of substantive analytical procedures?

Does the knowledge of unaudited account balances adversely affect the performance of substantive analytical procedures?

Date: December 2009
Creator: Pike, Byron J.
Description: Auditors use substantive analytical procedures to make assertions about the adequacy and appropriateness of client balances. The analytical procedure process consists of auditors creating independent account expectations and corroborating unusual fluctuations through obtaining and evaluating additional audit evidence. Prior analytical procedure research has found that knowledge of clients' unaudited account balances biases auditors' expectations towards the current year figures. However, this research has failed to examine the impact of biased expectations on the subsequent stages of analytical procedures. This dissertation assesses the full impact of biased account expectations on auditors' use of analytical procedures. I experimentally test the hypotheses of my dissertation through administering an experiment to senior level auditors. After inducing an account expectation bias that favors the client account balance in half the participants, I examine the auditors' cognitive investigation into an unusual account fluctuation. The results indicate that a biased account expectation negatively affects auditors' judgment quality. In particular, a biased expectation leads auditors to favor hypotheses and additional information that supports the proposition that the client's balance is reasonably stated. Alternatively, auditors with unbiased account expectations are more willing to consider all hypotheses and are able to identify the most pertinent additional information to the decision ...
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Monitoring or moral hazard? Evidence from real activities manipulation by venture-backed companies.

Monitoring or moral hazard? Evidence from real activities manipulation by venture-backed companies.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Liu, Xiang
Description: Prior literature suggests two competing theories regarding the role of venture capitalists (VCs) in their portfolio companies. The VC monitoring hypothesis argues that VCs effectively resolve the managerial agency problem through close monitoring and restraining managers' earnings management behavior. The VC moral hazard hypothesis argues that VCs aggravate the private benefits agency problem by exerting influence over managers to artificially inflate exit stock price through earnings management. Using a sample of IPO firms between 1987 and 2002, after controlling for the magnitude of accruals manipulation (AM), I compare the magnitude of real activities manipulation (RM) between venture-backed and non-venture-backed companies. I find that relative to non-venture-backed companies, venture-backed companies show significantly less RM in the first post-IPO fiscal year. The results are robust after controlling for the VC selection endogeneity. The finding supports the VC monitoring hypothesis that VCs restrain managers' RM behavior. Furthermore, I document that venture-backed companies exhibit a significant difference from non-venture-backed companies only in the first post-IPO fiscal year. The difference between the two groups in either the IPO year or the second post-IPO fiscal year is not significant, or at best, is weak. This finding is consistent with the argument that VCs tighten their control ...
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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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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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Investment decisions: Influence of an Internet stock message board.

Investment decisions: Influence of an Internet stock message board.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Pleis, Letitia Meier
Description: The Internet provides many sources of financial information that investors can use to help with investment decisions and in interpreting companies' accounting information. One source of information is Internet stock message boards such as those at Yahoo! Finance. This source allows for anonymous postings and information exchange. Despite the possibility of the information being incorrect many individuals visit these message boards. The purpose of this study is to investigate Internet stock message boards and address the primary question: From an individual investor perspective, do message boards, which contain accounting information, influence investment decisions? The question is addressed using psychology rumor literature and attitude theories. Message board postings are a type of rumor, since not all the information is verified and is usually intended to persuade a belief or influence a decision. Further, the messages may influence an investor by causing a change in attitude about the investment. Using an experiment, message board influence on an investment decision and attitude was tested. The results indicated that individuals that received negative message board postings did have a significantly higher change in investment amount as compared to a control group that did not receive any message postings. The positive message board group and ...
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The Effect of SFAS No. 141 and SFAS No. 142 on the Accuracy of Financial Analysts' Earnings Forecasts after Mergers

The Effect of SFAS No. 141 and SFAS No. 142 on the Accuracy of Financial Analysts' Earnings Forecasts after Mergers

Date: May 2005
Creator: Mintchik, Natalia Maksimovna
Description: This study examines the impact of Statements of Financial Accounting Standards No. 141 and No. 142 (hereafter SFAS 141, 142) on the characteristics of financial analysts' earnings forecasts after mergers. Specifically, I predict lower forecast errors for firms that experienced mergers after the enactment of SFAS 141, 142 than for firms that went through business combinations before those accounting changes. Study results present strong evidence that earnings forecast errors for companies involved in merging and acquisition activity decreased after the adoption of SFAS 141, 142. Test results also suggest that lower earnings forecast errors are attributable to factors specific to merging companies such as SFAS 141, 142 but not common to merging and non-merging companies. In addition, evidence implies that information in corporate annual reports of merging companies plays the critical role in this decrease of earnings forecast error. Summarily, I report that SFAS 141, 142 were effective in achieving greater transparency of financial reporting after mergers. In my complementary analysis, I also document the structure of corporate analysts' coverage in "leaders/followers" terms and conduct tests for differences in this structure: (1) across post-SFAS 141,142/pre-SFAS 141, 142 environments, and (2) between merging and non-merging firms. Although I do not identify ...
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Harmonization of Accounting Practices Among IAS Firms Listed in the U.S. and Its Capital Market Implications

Harmonization of Accounting Practices Among IAS Firms Listed in the U.S. and Its Capital Market Implications

Date: December 2003
Creator: Paananen, Mari
Description: The focus of the study is on financial reporting for non-U.S. firms registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) but using International Accounting Standards (IAS). This study addresses two issues, (1) whether the comparability of financial reporting among firms using IAS in credit and equity financing jurisdictions increases over time and (2) the associated capital market implications. The motivation for the study is the SEC's ongoing assessment of IAS for possible use by non-U.S. registrants for listing and capital raising in the U.S. Previous research on variations in financial reporting practices has revealed distinctly different types of financial reporting depending on country of origin. Moreover, some research suggests that such differences in financial reporting tend to persist in spite of harmonization efforts of accounting standards. This study suggests that there may be a systematic difference between credit and equity firms' financial reporting that is manifested by the fact that credit firms' adjustments to U.S. GAAP are greater than the adjustments made by equity firms. This systematic difference has had the following capital market consequences for credit firms, (1) a decreasing strength of association between accounting earnings and share prices post-1994, (2) an increased bid-ask spread post-1994, and (3) a decreased ...
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