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Determinants of Corporate Governance Choices: Evidence from Listed Foreign Firms on U.S. Stock Exchanges

Description: This study analyzes corporate governance practices of foreign (non-U.S.) issuers listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq. Specifically, I examine the extent to which these foreign issuers voluntarily comply with U.S. stock exchange corporate governance requirements applicable to domestic issuers. My sample consists of 201 foreign companies primarily domiciled in Brazil, China, Israel, and the United Kingdom. I find that 151 (75 per cent) of the sample firms do not elect to comply with any of the U.S. corporate governance requirements. Logistic regression analysis generally supports the hypotheses that conformance with U.S. GAAP and percentage of managerial ownership are positively associated, and that percentage ownership by major shareholders is negatively associated with foreign firms electing to comply with U.S. corporate governance rules. This evidence is relevant for regulators and investors.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Attachot, Weerapat

Firm Performance and Analyst Forecast Accuracy Following Discontinued Operations: Evidence from the Pre-SFAS 144 and SFAS 144 Eras

Description: Because of the non-recurring and transitory nature of discontinued operations, accounting standards require that the results of discontinued operations be separately reported on the income statement. Prior accounting literature supports the view that discontinued operations are non-recurring or transitory in nature, and also suggests that income classified as transitory has minimal relevance in firm valuation. Finance and management literature, however, suggest that firms discontinue operations to strategically utilize their scarce resources. Assuming that discontinued operations are a result of managerial motives to strategically concentrate resources into remaining continued operations, this dissertation examines the informativeness of discontinued operations. In doing so, this dissertation empirically tests the financial performance, investment efficiency, valuation, and analyst forecast accuracy effects of discontinued operations. In 2001, Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) 144 (hereafter SFAS 144) replaced Accounting Principles Board's Opinion 30 (hereafter APB 30) and broadened the scope of divestiture transactions to be presented in discontinued operations. Some stakeholders of financial statements argued that discontinued operations were less decision-useful in the SFAS 144 era because too many transactions that do not represent a strategic shift in operations were separately stated as discontinued operations on the income statement. With the possibility that the discontinued operations reported in SFAS 144 era may not reflect a major strategic reallocation of resources, this dissertation examines whether the relationship between discontinued operations, firm performance, investment efficiency, and analyst forecast accuracy are different in the pre-SFAS 144 and SFAS 144 era. Using a sample of firms that discontinued operations between 1990 and 2012, this dissertation study finds limited evidence that firms experience improvement in financial performance following discontinued operations and that such improvement is only observed in pre-SFAS 144 era. The results also suggest that any improvement in financial performance documented is conditional on the profitability ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Guragai, Binod

Loyalty or Fairness: A Study of the Influence of Moral Foundations on Auditors' Propensity to Subordinate their Judgment

Description: Subordination of judgment is a fundamental threat to auditor objectivity. Subordination of judgment occurs when auditors agree with their superiors either in spite of or without forming their own independent judgments. Many audit procedures rely on independent, critical thinking at every level of the audit team; however, a number of studies suggest that auditors tend to agree with superiors even when a superior's views clearly run contrary to generally accepted accounting principles. While there is general agreement among scholars that subordination of judgment is "bad," very little attention has been given to moral biases that might influence an auditor's tendency to subordination of judgment, or to potential remedies that could mitigate an auditor's tendency to subordinate judgment. Moral Foundations Theory suggests that individuals tend to make intuitive, normative evaluations of situations based upon a set of personal moral biases or preferences called "moral foundations." Two specific moral foundations could influence subordination of judgment in divergent ways. The moral foundation of loyalty-respect may make agreement with a superior's views seem more acceptable than would disagreement. Meanwhile, the moral foundation of fairness may make an auditor more sensitive to the observance of rules, resulting in less subordination of judgment when a superior's views run contrary to professional rules. Social Identity Theory suggests that in-group favoritism may exacerbate subordination of judgment in general; however, strengthening an auditor's professional identity salience (PIS) could strengthen an auditor's objectivity. PIS is the temporary, heightened awareness of an auditor's identity as a professional and their role as guardian of professional rules. As a result, PIS may interact with an auditor's innate sense of fairness, resulting in less subordination of judgment than when professional identity is less salient. Results supported the hypothesis that auditors tend to subordinate their judgment to that of a superior, but not that PIS ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Neri, Marc Peter

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

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 to the IRS by third parties. For self-employed taxpayers (especially those wanting to evade), perceived selection and enforcement risks may be distinctly different depending on a taxpayer’s situation, what they believe they can control, and what risk they are willing to accept. For example, selection risk may be perceived as the greatest risk for those with unreported items on their return, while enforcement risk may be more prominent for those perceiving certain levels of selection risk. Thus, I believe self-employed taxpayers are the most appropriate population to sample from and are likely have reasonable variation in the three personal factors ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hunt, Nicholas C

A Re-examination of the Dilution of Auditor Misstatement Risk Assessments: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Client Information Type, Workload, and PCAOB Guidance on Dilution

Description: Many external parties such as investors, creditors, and regulatory agencies, use a company’s financial statements in their decision-making. In doing so, they rely on audit opinions on whether financial statements are fairly stated. However, evidence suggests that there are factors in the audit environment that influence auditor judgments. For example, nondiagnostic client information dilutes auditor judgments when compared to judgments based on diagnostic information alone, especially for less experienced auditors (Hackenbrack 1992; Hoffman and Patton 1997; Glover 1994; Shelton 1999). High time pressure conditions mitigate this effect by refocusing auditor attention toward relevant client information, therefore reducing the impact of nondiagnostic information (Glover 1994, 1997). This research study examines other common audit environment factors to determine if they too influence audit judgment results. An online questionnaire of 149 auditors, CPAs and other accounting professionals indicate that the inclusion of nondiagnostic client information results in a significant change in auditor judgments. The direction of this change follows a theorized pattern; risk assessments that were initially high are reduced, while those that were initially low are increased. Significance was not consistently found for a workload and PCAOB effect on auditor judgment. However, a comparison of the absolute value of dilution effect means across conditions reveals some trending for the proposed unwanted effect of high workload, and the beneficial effect of PCAOB guidance. These results have important implications for auditing research and practice. It extends previous archival research on workload effects and uses a unique questionnaire design to reexamine workload pressures in a behavioral setting. The results of hypothesis testing on workload pressure and PCAOB guidance, although lacking consistent statistical significance; exhibit trends that agree with proposed theoretical relationships. Tests on the effects of nondiagnostic information show strong statistical support for previous studies in the area of psychology and audit. This study’s greatest ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Perry, Suzanne M.

Effects of Auditor-provided Tax Services on Book-tax Differences and Investors’ Mispricing of Book-tax Differences

Description: In this study, I investigate the effect of auditor-provided tax services (ATS) on firms’ levels of book-tax differences and investors’ mispricing of book-tax differences. The joint provision of audit and tax services has been a controversial issue among regulators and academic researchers. Evidence on whether ATS improve or impair the overall accounting quality is inconclusive as a result of the specific testing circumstances involved in different studies. Book-tax differences capture managers’ earnings management and/or tax avoidance intended to maximize reported financial income and to minimize tax expense. Therefore, my first research question investigates whether ATS improve or impair audit quality by examining the relation between ATS and firms’ levels of book-tax differences. My results show that ATS are negatively related to book-tax differences, suggesting that ATS improve the overall audit quality and reduce aggressive financial and/or tax reporting. My second research question examines whether the improved earnings quality for firms acquiring ATS leads to reduced mispricing of book-tax differences among investors. Recent studies document that despite the rich information about firms’ future earnings contained in book-tax differences, investors process such information inefficiently, leading to systematic pricing errors among firms with large book-tax differences. My empirical evidence indicates that ATS mitigate such mispricing, with pricing errors being lower among firms acquiring ATS compared with firms without ATS. Collectively, these results support the notion that ATS improve audit quality through knowledge spillover. Moreover, the improved earnings quality among firms acquiring ATS in turn helps reduce investors’ mispricing of book-tax differences.
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Luo, Bing

What Did the Client Say? Auditor Memory of a Client Inquiry: a Study of Encoding Style and Note Taking

Description: Client inquiry is a fundamental procedure for gathering audit evidence. Since inquiries are not audio- or video-recorded in practice, auditor memory is vital to the accuracy of evidence gathered in this manner. Due to the potential for error during memory encoding and retrieval, the effect of memory on judgment, and the cognitive complexity of conducting a face-to-face inquiry, examining factors affecting auditor memory of client inquiries is important. In this dissertation, I examine two factors likely to affect auditor memory of a client inquiry. First, encoding style is a low-level cognitive function representing how much stimuli an individual perceives before applying prior knowledge (schemata) to assist with encoding to long-term memory, affecting information noticed and remembered. Differences in auditors’ encoding style may explain variance in memory accuracy of evidence gathered from a client inquiry. Second, audit professionals often make hand-written or typed notes during client inquiries, and subsequently review the notes, which may affect memory. To address these issues, I first gather interview evidence from six professional auditors to determine how practicing auditors plan, prepare for, conduct, and document evidence from client inquiries. I then develop and execute a video-based experiment with 33 senior auditor participants, 23 masters-level accounting students, and 47 undergraduate-level accounting students to investigate whether encoding style and note taking affect auditor memory accuracy of, and audit judgments resulting from, a client inquiry. I find multiple significant results. First, I find that encoding style affects memory accuracy such that auditors quickly utilizing prior knowledge during an inquiry results in greater memory accuracy than auditors slowly utilizing prior knowledge. This finding suggests that quickly utilizing prior knowledge helps auditors to manage the cognitive complexity of a client inquiry. Second, I find that participants who take notes during an inquiry, and subsequently review his or her notes taken, have ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Vinson, Jeremy M.

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

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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Garner, Steve A.

The Impact of Social Learning and Social Norms on Auditor Choice

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the influences of industry dynamic factors (e.g., peer selections) on a client’s subsequent decision to select the type of auditor (e.g., Big N versus non-Big N), following auditor turnover. More specifically, drawing on social norms and social learning theories, I develop testable implications and investigate whether and how industry dynamics have an incremental power in explaining auditor choice beyond traditional firm-specific variables documented in prior research. Using a large sample from years 1988 – 2012, I find that clients are more likely to imitate their industry peers’ prior selections to select the type of their succeeding auditors, consistent with the implications of social learning theory. I also find that clients in industries with stronger industry norms, as measured by a greater proportion of clients audited by Big N auditors in an industry, are more likely to select Big N auditors as their succeeding auditors, consistent with the implications of social norms theory. To my best knowledge, this is the first study to explore the impact of social dynamics measured at the industry level on auditor selection and provide large-sample evidence on the relations between industry dynamics and auditor selection at the firm level. Findings of this study provide insights into the dynamic process of auditor selection in which companies do not make auditor-selection decisions in isolation of one another as often posited in existing literature, contribute to the research on the determinants of auditor choice by incorporating industry dynamics into an agent-principal model, and provide a more comprehensive view of the phenomenon of auditor selection.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Li, Xudong

The Effects of Goal Difficulty and Monitoring Frequency on Effort and Risk Taking Decisions

Description: Management control systems perform a vital role in facilitating the accomplishment of organizational objectives. To effectively align the objectives of employees with those of the organization, firms balance multiple control mechanisms to encourage organizationally desired behaviors and discourage undesired behaviors. The purpose of my dissertation was two-fold. First, I assessed how changes in monitoring frequency influenced employee behaviors and the overall function of the management control system. Second, I investigated the effects of stretch goals on behavior to determine whether stretch goals can lead to harmful behaviors and whether continuous monitoring can mitigate these behaviors. Results suggest that individuals exert more effort when assigned a stretch or difficult goal compared to an easy goal. My study also finds that stretch goals can be harmful because of their effect on risk taking, goal commitment, and job insecurity. Finally, results indicate that accountability mediates the monitoring frequency-risk taking relationship such that continuous monitoring increases accountability and accountability decreases risk taking. However, the ability of monitoring frequency to decrease risk taking may depend on numerous factors. Results from this study allow practitioners to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of implementing continuous monitoring systems and the combined effects of using these systems in conjunction with compensation systems. Consequently, this study highlights necessary considerations for practitioners during the implementation continuous monitoring systems. The study also informs practitioners of the potentially harmful effects of stretch goals, the conditions under which they occur, and the possible ways to mitigate these effects.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shoemaker, Nikki L.

Income Tax Evasion and the Effectiveness of Tax Compliance Legislation, 1979-1982

Description: The federal income tax system in the United States depends upon a high degree of voluntary compliance. The IRS estimates that the voluntary compliance level is declining and that this tax compliance gap cost the government an estimated $90.5 billion in 1981. Between 1979 and 1982, Congress made several changes in the tax laws designed to improve tax compliance. Extensive data was collected by the IRS for 1979 and 1982 through the random sample audits of approximately 50,000 taxpayers on the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program (TCMP), which is conducted every three years. During the period 1979 through 1982, Congress lowered the marginal tax rates, added some fairly severe penalties, for both taxpayers and paid return preparers, and increased information reporting requirements for certain types of income. In this research, it was hypothesized that voluntary compliance should increase in response to lower marginal rates, a higher risk of detection due to additional reporting requirements, and increased penalties. Multiple regression analysis was employed to test these hypotheses, using 1979 and 1982 TCMP data. Because of the requirements for taxpayer confidentiality, it was necessary for the IRS to run the data and provide the aggregate data results for the research. The results provided insight into the effectiveness of tax compliance legislation. While the overall voluntary compliance level (VCL) increased from 1979 to 1982 by 1.53 per cent, the VCL increase for taxpayers in high marginal rates was much smaller (.42 percent) than the overall increase. This is very inconsistent with the notion that high marginal rates are driving noncompliance, and suggests that marginal rates may not be strong determinants of compliance. Probably other factors, such as opportunity for evasion, may be more important. There was little change from 1979 to 1982 of the compliance of returns done by paid return preparers. Because of ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Stroope, John C. (John Clarence)

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

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. The following hypotheses were tested. HO_1 There is no positive statistically significant relationship between clients' preferences and an accounting firm's support for an outcome. HO_2 There is no positive statistically significant relationship between the preferences of large corporations and standards enacted by the FASB. HO_3 There is no positive statistically significant relationship between the preferences of the Big Eight firms and the standards enacted by the FASB. These hypotheses were tested for each Big Eight accounting firms and for each standard. A logist procedure was employed. The results of the tests, with three exceptions, indicate that any relationships that occurred ...
Date: May 1988
Creator: Beckman, Ronald J. (Ronald James)

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

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 smoothing did not occur. The mean percentage revision and a t-test were used to test for positive or negative bias in the revisions. The mean absolute percentage revision was used to assess the relative variability of revisions. The number of companies classified as smoothers of oil reserves was statistically significant for the semi-logarithmic model but not for the linear model. Under both models the number of companies classified as smoothers of gas reserves was statistically significant. Few companies had mean percentage revisions that were significantly different from zero. The majority of companies had mean absolute revisions of under ten percent.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Campbell, Alan D.

Professional Commitment, Organizational Commitment, and Organizational-Professional Conflict in the Internal Audit Function Model: Development and Test

Description: This dissertation is a descriptive, exploratory examination of professional commitment, organizational commitment, and conflict between those commitments in the internal audit profession. That conflict has been suggested in prior studies as the source of dysfunctional outcomes such as increased role stress, high turnover, decreased job satisfaction, and the exercise of improper judgment leading to audit failures. The descriptive aspect of this study deals with the development of a more comprehensive structural model of the factors and relationships involved in commitment and conflict than has been developed by previous research dealing with accountants. The exploratory aspect deals with the testing and refinement of the developed model utilizing the internal audit profession as the field of examination. The model developed in this study is derived from the synthesis of factors suggested by role theory, the concept of side bets, the cosmopolitan-local construct, and the concept of commitment as a process. This research utilizes a questionnaire administered to 205 practicing internal auditors in order to test 30 hypothesized relationships. Path analysis is used to determine the significant direct relationships between variables with a process of theory trimming being conducted in order to produce more parsimonious structural models. Indirect relationships between significant variables are identified and their redundant or suppressive nature determined. Explanations of these suppressive or redundant relationships are provided based on the theoretical considerations identified above. Such a determination and explanation of the redundant and suppressive indirect relationships involved in the commitment-conflict relationship has not been accomplished in earlier studies of the subject. Although the procedures used here do not support causal conclusions, the findings of this study indirectly provide evidence that conflict between the two commitments in the internal audit area is not to be considered inherent. The findings also suggest a possible undesirable relationship between organizational formalization and professional commitment.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Quarles, Ross

Venture Capital Investment and Protocol Analysis

Description: This study used protocol analysis to identify key variables in the venture capital investment decision-making process. The study used a fictional business plan which was based on six actual business plans. This fictional business plan was presented to ten venture capitalists who were asked to review it to decide whether to interview the investee. The protocols obtained from these subjects were analyzed to determine patterns within the subjects' review. The sections of the business plan which were commonly reviewed first were the deal structure, the executive summary, and the management section. The management section was used by the greatest number of subjects. The market section was used the greatest number of times. The data were also organized by type of operators used in each subject's protocols. Information Search/Retrieval operators were most common, followed by Task Structuring/Set Goal operators. When classified into the four major categories of Task Structuring/Set Goal, Information Acquisition, Analytical/ Inferential, and Choice operators, Analytical/Inferential operators were used most frequently. Choice operators were least used. The phrases were analyzed by the relevant section in the business plan. The market received the greatest number of references, followed by references to the product and to management. However, when references to the income statement and balance sheet were combined as phrases relevant to the financial statements, the financial statements were referred to more frequently than the product or the people. The subjects appeared to use an unidentified choice program within which certain models could be identified as subroutines. The subjects used an elimination-by-aspects model to screen the business plan. If the business plan met the criteria within the elimination-by-aspects model of the subject, the subject used an additive/nonlinear model for the remainder of the review. The results of this study indicate that financial statements provide information important in the venture capital ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Pfeffer, Mary Graves

Alternative Social Security Taxing Schemes: an Analysis of Vertical and Horizontal Equity in the Federal Tax System

Description: The objectives of this study were twofold. One objective was to analyze the effects of growth in the social security tax, when combined with recent changes in U.S. income tax law, on the distribution of the combined income and social security tax burden during the 1980s. The second objective was to estimate the effects of certain proposals for social security tax reform upon that distribution. The above analyses were performed using simulation techniques applied to the 1984 IRS Individual Tax Model File. The data from this file were used to estimate the income and social security tax liabilities for sample taxpayers under tax law in effect in 1980, 1984 and 1988 and under fourteen proposals for social security reform (under 1988 law). The results indicated that the income tax distribution was almost 25 percent more progressive under 1988 tax law than under 1980 tax law. In contrast, the combined distribution of income and social security taxes was almost 25 percent less progressive under 1988 income and social security tax law relative to 1980. Two types of social security tax reform were analyzed. One type consisted of reforms to the basic social security tax structure, such as removal of the earnings ceiling, provision of exemptions and replacement of the current single tax rate with a two-tiered graduated rate structure. The second type of reform consisted of proposals to expand the theoretical tax base subject to the social security levy. The results suggested that these reforms could generate substantial increases in progressivity in the combined tax distribution. In general, it would appear that changes in the social security tax structure could generate greater improvements in progressivity than expansion of the theoretical tax base, although the greatest improvement was associated with a combination of these two reforms. With regard to horizontal equity, expansion ...
Date: December 1988
Creator: Ricketts, Robert C. (Robert Carlton)

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

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 attempt to provide some insight about ,how diverse socio-political factors have impacted the development of financial accounting in three countries. Library research of nation-specific literature attempts to extract a relatively accurate picture of social, political, and economic institutions and policies, and relates such findings to financial accounting processes for each nation. This dissertation attempts to provide a necessary foundation for future theoretical international accounting harmonization studies.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Hudack, Lawrence R. (Lawrence Ralph)

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

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 information. The experimental results were analyzed by repeated measures analyses of variance, in which the dependent variable was an opinion or the change in an opinion over a series of evidence items. The experimental results indicate that the order of mixed positive and negative information affects beliefs in performance evaluation. For mixed evidence, there was significant divergence of opinions between superiors and subordinates. The results provide little evidence that superior and subordinate roles bias the belief updating process. The experiments show that belief revision in performance evaluation deviates from the normative standard, and that the use of accounting information may ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Atkinson, Sue Andrews

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

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 to a subsequent increase in compliance intentions. This dissertation also finds that trust in government and the perceived fairness of the tax system have a significant influence on compliance intentions. Supplemental analyses indicate that trust in government fully mediates the relationship between perceived fairness of the tax system and compliance intentions. This research offers several contributions to accounting literature and provides valuable insight for taxing authorities. First, this study examines taxpayer compliance from a psychological, rather than an economics driven, perspective. The suggested model of taxpayer compliance posits that social norms have a significant influence on compliance intentions. This information ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jimenez, Peggy D.

The Effect of Auditor Knowledge on Information Processing during Analytical Review

Description: Auditors form judgments by integrating the evidence they gather with information stored in memory (knowledge). As they acquire experience, auditors have the opportunity to learn how different patterns of evidence are associated with particular audit problems. Research in experimental psychology has demonstrated that individuals with task-specific experience can match the cues they encounter with patterns they have learned, and form judgments without consciously analyzing the individual cues. Accounting researchers have suggested that auditors develop judgment templates through task-specific experience, and that these knowledge structures automatically provide decisions in familiar situations. I examined whether auditor knowledge leads to reliance on judgment templates. To test this thesis, I synthesized a theoretical framework and developed research hypotheses that predict relationships between task-specific experience (my surrogate for knowledge) and (1) measures of cognitive effort, (2) accuracy of residual memory traces, and (3) performance with respect to identifying potential problems. To test these predictions, I provided senior auditors with comprehensive case materials for a hypothetical client and asked them to use analytical procedures to identify potential audit problems. Subjects acquired information and documented their findings on personal computers using software that I developed to record their activities.
Date: February 1995
Creator: O'Donnell, Ed

Accounting Measurement Bias and Executive Compensation Systems

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.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Boone, Jeffery Paul

The Early Adoption of Accounting Standards as an Earnings Management Tool

Description: Many corporate managers elect to adopt a new Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) early instead of waiting until the mandatory adoption date. This study tests for evidence that managers use early adoption as an earnings management tool in a manner consistent with one or more positive accounting theories.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Smith, Pamela Ann, 1959-