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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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Different Forms of Accounting Feedback, Cost Aggregation and Pricing Knowledge on Profitability and Profit Estimation

Description: This study extends a research stream calling for further research regarding pricing and accounting feedback. Marketing executives rely heavily on accounting information for pricing decisions, yet criticize accounting feedback usefulness. To address this criticism, this research integrates the cognitive psychology and accounting literature addressing feedback effectiveness with pricing research in the marketing discipline. The research extends the scope of previous accounting feedback studies by using a control group and comparing two proxies of subject task knowledge; years of pricing experience and a measure of the cognitive structure of pricing knowledge. In addition, this research manipulates task complexity by using two different accounting systems. These systems vary in the number of cost pools used in allocating overhead, resulting in differentially projected cost and profit information. A total of 60 subjects participated in a computer laboratory experiment. These subjects were non-accountants with varying amounts of pricing knowledge. Subjects were randomly assigned to six experimental groups which varied by feedback type (no accounting feedback, outcome feedback only, or a combination of outcome and task properties feedback) and task complexity (high or low number of overhead cost pools). The subjects attempted to (1) maximize profits for a product during 15 rounds of pricing decisions, and (2) accurately estimate their profit for each round. The experimental results indicate no difference in performance between the three feedback types examined. However, increases in both subjects' pricing knowledge and the number of cost pools do influence feedback effectiveness. This study suggests that the amount of the users' task knowledge may influence the effectiveness of current accounting reports. In addition, increasing the number of cost pools in accounting systems may be beneficial for all users.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Smith, David M., 1961-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Information Content of Supplemental Reserve-Based Replacement Measures Relative to that of Historical Cost income and its Cash and Accrual Components of Oil and Gas Producing Companies

Description: This study examined whether three reserve-based quantity replacement measures and three reserve-based value replacement measures have incremental information content beyond that of historical earnings and its cash and accrual components. This study also examined whether the cash and accrual components of earnings have incremental information content beyond that of earnings.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Spear, Nasser A. (Nasser Abdelmonem)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Corporate Accounting and Reporting Practices in Bahrain

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 factors in gaining acceptance for Western accounting practices. The adoption of Western financial reporting practices may be dysfunctional to a developing nation like Bahrain if these practices do not provide relevant information about corporate performance. Therefore, Bahrain, as well as other developing countries, needs to proceed cautiously before adopting Western corporate reporting practices.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Abdul-Rahim, Hassan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Bradley, Linda Jacobsen
Partner: UNT Libraries

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-
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Cost Accounting Literature of the United States from 1925 to 1950

Description: This research examines the assertions made by Johnson and Kaplan (1987) that cost accounting lost relevance after 1925 due to the dominance of financial accounting, to an academic preoccupation with financial accounting, to the disappearance of engineers and to a managerial emphasis on financial measures of net income and earnings per share. Additionally, the research looks at environmental effects on cost accounting, both economic and governmental.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Vollmers, Gloria Lucey
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Process Analysis of Lenders' Use of FAS 95 Cash Flow Information

Description: This study uses concurrent verbal protocol analysis to examine the decision processes of lenders as they evaluate the financial information of a loan applicant. Of specific interest is the lenders' use of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards Board No. 95 (FAS 95), Statement of Cash Flows, in that decision process.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Reither, Cheri L. (Cheri Lynn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Confidence Levels and Retrieval of Procedures Associated with Accounts Receivable Confirmations

Description: The study addresses whether differently ordered accounts receivable workprograms and task experience relate to differences in judgments, confidence levels, and recall ability. The study also assesses how treated and untreated inexperienced and experienced auditors store and recall accounts receivable workprogram steps in memory in a laboratory environment. Additionally, the question whether different levels of experienced auditors can effectively be manipulated is also addressed.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Rogers, Violet C. (Violet Corley)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Accounting System of the Quincy Mining Company: 1846-1900

Description: This historical study examines the evolution of the accounting system of the Quincy Mining Company between 1846 and 1900. The external financial reporting practices and internal accounting procedures of the firm are defined and interpreted in the context of three time periods that portray the formation, growth and maturation of the firm. Each period reflects unique economic and social conditions that are associated with changes in the firm's accounting system. A cross temporal analysis of these changes highlights three factors: the relationship between the accounting system and the labor force, the emergence of accounting as a control mechanism and the diminishing informational content of the firm's annual reports. Primary sources are used to document the perspectives of the Quincy management and to assess the motivations for accounting processes such as internal control, auditing procedures, responsibility centers and other managerial practices. This study addresses the inherent nature of accounting information and its relationship to the economic and social environment of an individual firm in the nineteenth century.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Michael, Rodney R. (Rodney Richard)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Critical Investigation of Positivism: Its Adequacy as an Approach for Accounting Research

Description: This dissertation addresses the influence of "positivism" in accounting research. Accounting research has been overwhelmed by "positivism" to the extent that the "scientific method" has become sacrosanct. The dysfunctional consequences include the extreme emphasis placed on methodology. Researchers believe that the methods applied, rather than the orientations of the human researcher, generate knowledge. This belief stems from an extreme objectivist ontological orientation. A second consequence of the "positivistic" influence is a change in direction of intellectual inquiries. Obsession with measurement and quantification has all but eliminated concern for values. Specifically this dissertation asserts that the "scientific method" has been misapplied and misunderstood. The misapplication is that a method developed in the natural sciences has been blindly accepted and endorsed in the social sciences. It has been misunderstood in the sense that the abstract Cartesian-Newtonian view of reality has been mistaken for reality itself. The ontological assumptions inherent in this view have become integrated in the Western mind. The axiomatic nature of these assumptions have been ignored. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to project a point concerning research and knowledge. Hence, there are no "research findings" in the conventional sense.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Eriksen, Scott D. (Scott Douglas)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Missing Data on Audit Inference and an Investigation into the Validity of Accounts Receivable Confirmations as Audit Evidence

Description: The objectives of the thesis research were twofold. One objective was to conduct an exploratory investigation of the underlying response mechanism to an auditor's request for confirmation of accounts receivable. The second objective was to investigate the validity of confirmation evidence. Validity was defined in terms of detection of errors.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Caster, Paul, 1951-
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Empirical Investigation of the Factors Considered by the Tax Court in Determining Principal Purpose Under Internal Revenue Code Section 269

Description: The purpose of this study was an empirical investigation of the factors considered by the United States Tax Court in determining whether the principal purpose for an acquisition was tax avoidance (or alternatively, given the totality of the surrounding circumstances, whether there was an overriding business purpose for the acquisition).
Date: May 1987
Creator: Olson, William H. (William Halver)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prediction of Bankruptcy Using Financial Ratios, Information Measures, National Economic Data and Texas Economic Data

Description: The main purpose of this study is to develop a bankruptcy prediction model for the small business firm. Data was collected from the Dallas Small Business Administration (SBA), making this study specific to its decision makers. Existing research has produced models which predominately use financial ratios and information measures either independently or combined, and a few research models have used economic trends. This study varies from past studies in that it includes regional economic variables from the states of Texas. A sample of three-year data for 138 firms included fifteen bankrupt firms. This proportion of bankrupt/nonbankrupt firms approximates the proportion of repayed/defaulted loans in the SBA. Stepwise regression, set at the .15 level of significance, reduced a total of fifty-three variables to nine. These nine variables were then used to test twelve predictive models. All twelve models tested improved the SBA repayment rate and only two of the twelve would have caused the SBA to deny loans to applicants who eventually repaid. The study determined the model that included financial ratios, information measures, and Texas economic variables as best. It was also demonstrated that some of the variables used in this model could be eliminated without decreasing the predictive power of the model. The best of twelve models improved the SBA default rate by 40 percent without denying a loan to any applicant that eventually repaid.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Moore, Ronald K. (Ronald Kenneth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Factors Used by the Tax Court in Applying the Step Transaction Doctrine

Description: The step transaction doctrine is one of the judicial doctrines used by the courts to interpret tax law. The doctrine requires that a series of transactions be treated as a single transaction if the transactions share a single, integrated purpose. Many authors believe there is a great deal of uncertainty as to when the doctrine will be applied. Uncertainty and inconsistency in the application of tax law add to the complexity of the law. One of the most complex areas of tax law is Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code, which governs corporate formations, redemptions, liquidations, distributions, and reorganizations. The purpose of this study was to determine if the step transaction doctrine is being consistently applied by the Tax Court and what variables affect the judges' decision in these cases. Hierarchical logit analysis was used to derive a full model and two restricted models. The full model was used to determine the predictive power of the variables that were identified and to explain the extent to which the individual variables affect the judges' decisions. One restricted model was used to test temporal stability. The other was used to test consistency when different issues of tax law are involved. The data source was the sample of step transaction cases involving Subchapter C issues decided by the Tax Court and its predecessor, the Board of Tax Appeals. Eight variables were identified to evaluate the factors discussed in the literature and major court cases involving the doctrine. Four of the variables were found to be statistically significant. The full model correctly predicted the outcome of 79.5 percent of the cases. The restricted model to test temporal stability correctly predicted the outcome of 86.3 percent of the cases. The restricted model to test the consistency of the decisions relating to a specific topic ...
Date: August 1987
Creator: Smith, Darlene A. (Darlene Adel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Empirical Examination of the Effects of FASB Statement No. 52 on Security Returns and Reported Earnings of U.S.-Based Multinational Corporations

Description: Prior to the issuance of Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 8 (SFAS No. 8), there was a marked inconsistency in the area of accounting for foreign currency translation. Though designed to make the diverse accounting practices of multinational corporations (MNCs) more compatible, SFAS No. 8 was the subject of a great deal of criticism, eventually leading to the issuance of Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 52 (SFAS No. 52). SFAS No. 52 differs from SFAS No. 8 on objectives and method of translation, and on accounting treatments of translation adjustments. This dissertation provides an empirical examination of the security market reaction to the accounting policy change embodied in SFAS No. 52, and its impact on the volatility of reported earnings of MNCs. The effects of the issuance and early adoption of SFAS No. 52 on security return distributions were determined by both cross-sectional comparisons of cumulative average residuals (CAR) between MNCs and domestic firms and between early and late adopters, and by time-series tests on CAR of MNCs. Two volume analyses were performed to test the effects of SFAS No. 52 on security volume. The first analysis was adjusted to remove the effects of the marketwide factors on volume, and the second analysis was unadjusted for the market influences. Four nonparametric tests were used in testing the effects of SFAS No. 52 vis-a-vis SFAS No. 8 on the volatility of reported earnings of MNCs. The findings of this study led to the following conclusions: (1) SFAS No. 52 had significantly affected security returns of MNCs, but had no significant effects on security volume of MNCs; (2) the early adoption of SFAS No. 52 had no effects on security returns and volume of early adopters as opposed to late adopters; and (3) SFAS No. 52 did not have any ...
Date: December 1986
Creator: Elsayed-Ahmed, Sameh M. (Sameh Metwally)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Market Reactions to Accounting Policy Deliberations the Case of Pensions (SFAS No. 87)

Description: This study had two basic objectives. The first was to determine the stock market reactions to the pension policy deliberations. The second was to further our understanding of the significance of the FASB's due process. The author selected 13 critical events that preceded passage of SFAS No. 87 and designed a quasi experiment to examine the stock market reaction around the above events. Two portfolios were constructed to test the hypotheses. The first portfolio consisted of firms in the experimental group (firms sponsoring a defined benefit pension plan) and the second portfolio consisted of firms in the control group (firms sponsoring a defined contribution pension plan). The two portfolios were matched on the basis of SIC code, debt to equity ratio and assets.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Gopalakrishnan, Venkataraman
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact on Charitable Classes in Dallas County, Texas, Resulting from Changes in the Tax Economics of Private Philanthropy

Description: Private philanthropy is important in America. In 1985, philanthropy totaled almost 80 billion dollars. Philanthropy is partially a function of price. Absent a tax benefit, the price of charitable giving is unity. When tax benefits are available, the price of cash giving is one minus the marginal tax rate of the donor. Philanthropy is not evenly distributed among all classes of organizations. Changes in tax cost bring about changes in the distribution of gifts among organizations. Predictions have been made of a six to twelve billion dollar decline in individual giving as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The question is, "Whose ox gets gored?" In 1962, the Internal Revenue Service collected data directly linking itemized charitable contributions to class of donee organization. Prior works by Taussig, Schwartz, Feldstein, and Clotfelter have been principally based on this data. Their works document differing elasticities of price on charitable giving. The current research gathered 1985 data on the relationships between income, price, and charitable donee for 298 Dallas County, Texas, taxpayers. Data was obtained from selected certified public accountants in Dallas County who prepared income tax returns for individuals as part of their practice. Two hundred fifty usable responses reflected charitable gifts. The data collected permitted the tax benefit resulting from charitable gifts to be calculated. Income levels and marginal tax rates on those gifts were then correlated with donee organizations using multiple regression analysis. The main effects of price and income on giving were masked by multicollinearity. The interaction effects of price and other independent variables showed little price effect on giving. Only when coupled with the income variable at income levels of $50,000 was the price effect significant.
Date: August 1987
Creator: McClure, Ronnie C. (Ronnie Clyde)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of Asymmetrical Power Relationships Existing in Auditor-Client Relationship During Auditor Changes

Description: In recent years, considerable interest has been stimulated concerning potential conflicts of interest between a company's management and their independent auditors. Many researchers examined the association between corporations who changed their present auditors, and factors such as auditor's opinion on the financial statements, management changes, mergers, financial distress, etc. Some of these research efforts resulted in findings that were inconsistent with each other. The current research was therefore undertaken with the objective of developing a theoretical model of auditor change process and to explain the justification for considering certain specific factors that may be present in an auditor-client relationship. The research design and the methodology for analyses were developed on the basis of the theory on power conflicts found in political science literature and by the use of Wrong's power model on authority relationship. Sources of power such as the size of an audit firm, size of a corporation, the stock exchange membership, the ability of an auditor to qualify the opinion on the financial statements, the ability of the management of a corporation to terminate the audit contract following the issue of a qualified opinion, and change of a corporation's CEO were identified and converted into independent variables. Data were collected from secondary sources on a sample of 200 corporations, 100 companies that had changed their audit firm at least once during the period 1983-85, and 100 corporations that did not change their audit firm during this period. The resulting data were analyzed using the MDS-ALSCAL procedure and logit regression with maximum likelihood estimators. The findings of this research support the power model and its relevancy to the study of auditor-client relationship. The variables, client size, stock exchange membership, and audit firm size were found to have a significant association with corporations who changed their audit firms. However, the ...
Date: August 1987
Creator: Sriram, Srinivasan
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Factors Associated with Voluntary Disclosure of Management's Responsibilities for Internal Control

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify company characteristics associated with the presence of disclosures regarding internal control in the annual report. Gibbins, Richardson and Waterhouse [1990] have developed a framework from which to examine financial disclosure,. These authors define two dimensions of a company's disclosure position; opportunism and ritualism. I examined the association between variables representing the dimensions identified by these authors and a company's decision regarding disclosure of a management report on internal control. I compared specific characteristics of companies disclosing this information to those of companies not disclosing. The dependent variable represented the presence or absence of disclosure. I used logit analysis to test the significance of the chosen characteristics relative to the decision to include or exclude a management report on internal control in the annual report. My results were consistent with the existence of ritualism with respect to this issue. Reporting on internal controls was associated with membership in the Financial Executives Institute, auditor choice, certain industry designations and prior inclusion of such a report. FEI membership was closely related to initial reporting decisions as well'. I found evidence of opportunism as well. The likelihood of reporting on internal controls was related to company size (and presumably control strength), and growth rates. I also found an association between reporting and the issuance of publicly traded securities in the succeeding year and more moderate levels of debt relative to an industry average. In addition, I found that initial reporting decisions were associated with external events relating to potential legislation of the reporting issue. This research provides insight into the corporate response to reporting on internal controls.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Tanner, Margaret Morgan
Partner: UNT Libraries