Matching Items (10)

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Ostensible Accounting Improprieties from International Mergers and Acquisitions \u2014 A Case on HP Autonomy

Description

Revenue recognition and disclosure in the U.S. has a stark contrast to the reporting standards used by the UK. The U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) follows a more prescriptive

Revenue recognition and disclosure in the U.S. has a stark contrast to the reporting standards used by the UK. The U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) follows a more prescriptive approach to determine when revenue should be booked, and how it should be disclosed to investors. Conversely, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), is more principle based and open to interpretation. This disparity has created valuation discrepancies for local corporations and individuals seeking to invest abroad, and vice versa. Following the events of Hewlett-Packard Company's (HP) acquisition of Autonomy PLC (Autonomy), the issues that stem from the differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS reporting standards were magnified. In 2011, HP acquired Autonomy for $11.1 billion. Subsequently, HP declared an $8.8 billion dollar impairment in the following year due to the alleged fraudulent accounting practices of Autonomy's former executives. After 2 years, the investigation on Autonomy's purported accounting improprieties led by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was inconclusive. All Big Four CPA firms involved in the acquisition found both HP and Autonomy to be compliant with GAAP and IFRS, respectively. This led to the conclusion that the ostensible fraudulent accounting policies that Autonomy's former executives deployed were in fact legal practices within the confinements of IFRS. The case also unravels greater issues that originate from the disparate accounting standards, as I probe into the reasons behind HP's colossal write-down of their acquired reporting unit, HP Autonomy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Direct Method of Cash Flow Statements: Survey and Analysis of Australian Analysts' Opinions and Uses of the Direct Method

Description

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is interested in a cost versus benefit analysis of the direct method of cash flow statements. IASB proposed, in the most recent Staff Draft

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is interested in a cost versus benefit analysis of the direct method of cash flow statements. IASB proposed, in the most recent Staff Draft of an Exposure Draft on Financial Statement Presentation in July of 2010, requiring the direct method to be presented, opposed to the current standard which lets companies choose between the direct or indirect method. There is constant controversy between these two presentation styles. Those who report with the indirect method claim the direct method is too costly and has no great benefit. In the United States only approximately two percent of companies report using the direct method, whereas the other ninety-eight percent use the indirect method. However, many preparers, researchers, and other financial statement users see great benefit in the direct method. Multiple research studies have been conducted in this field, and conclude the direct method has substantial and material benefits. There is strong support for the direct method in Australia, where the companies voluntarily report using the direct method. Because firms in Australia voluntarily use the direct method, I conducted a survey for Australian analysts in order to find the benefits (if any) they perceive. I have found that all of the analysts that participated in our survey state the direct method has benefits, is the more beneficial cash flow method to use for their forecasts, and should be required. With this new knowledge of the opinions and experiences of those actually using the direct method reports every day, a more accurate conclusion can be draw about the many benefits the direct method can bestow. These findings ultimately lead to the conclusion that there are added benefits in reporting the direct method, which likely outweigh the costs if Australian companies are continuing to voluntarily present the direct method each year. My major recommendations for the IASB are to require the direct method to be presented, and to require an indirect reconciliation in the notes along with the direct method. The indirect method can be useful when used with the direct method, but the direct method offers greater benefits to those who use them, and therefore should be the required cash flow statement to present. Key Words: Direct method, Cash flow statements

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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How Well Do Finance Students at ASU Identify and Apply Knowledge of Finance Concepts to Real World Problems Tested Through NPV

Description

This study explores whether finance students at Arizona State University learn important technical business concepts at a textbook level and, if they do, do they recognize when to use them

This study explores whether finance students at Arizona State University learn important technical business concepts at a textbook level and, if they do, do they recognize when to use them in real-world scenarios. These questions are important because the ability to learn and adapt knowledge to different situations is a desirable skill for a business professional. I chose NPV as the concept to test because it is arguably the central concept to learn in business school. Additionally, NPV is specifically taught in at least two courses by the time students graduate and it is frequently applied in business. The main hypothesis the study intends to explore is: students that have taken finance 300 will be able to identify the NPV problem. Survey results indicated that only 47% of students could identify the NPV problem. Further results indicated that only 27% of the original 100% (8 out of 30) participants could further apply NPV knowledge. Additional analyses based on grade earned and personal confidence level showed that having higher of either of the attributes generally showed the ability to identify NPV. Based on the results, I propose teaching more application-based learning to enhance career-readiness. Further research, expanding on these results, could be made to formulate a function to predict a student’s ability to identify NPV before being surveyed. This function could then be used to predict the outcome of the next student tested and allow for change to be made in teaching techniques.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Do financial analysts respond efficiently to managers' earnings guidance?

Description

When managers provide earnings guidance, analysts normally respond within a short time frame with their own earnings forecasts. Within this setting, I investigate whether financial analysts use publicly available information

When managers provide earnings guidance, analysts normally respond within a short time frame with their own earnings forecasts. Within this setting, I investigate whether financial analysts use publicly available information to adjust for predictable error in management guidance and, if so, the explanation for such inefficiency. I provide evidence that analysts do not fully adjust for predictable guidance error when revising forecasts. The analyst inefficiency is attributed to analysts' attempts to advance relationship with the managers, analysts' compensation not tie to forecast accuracy, and their forecasting ability. Finally, the stock market acts as if it does not fully realize that analysts respond inefficiently to the guidance, introducing mispricing. This mispricing is not fully corrected upon earnings announcement.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Mutual Fund Liquidity Management, Stock Liquidity, and Corporate Disclosure

Description

This study presents the first evidence that mutual fund liquidity management affects both stock liquidity and information disclosure of portfolio firms. Using a difference-in-differences approach that exploits a proposal by

This study presents the first evidence that mutual fund liquidity management affects both stock liquidity and information disclosure of portfolio firms. Using a difference-in-differences approach that exploits a proposal by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an exogenous shock to mutual fund liquidity management, I find causal evidence that mutual fund liquidity management improves liquidity of underlying stocks. The liquidity improvement is more pronounced when mutual funds have stronger incentives to improve portfolio liquidity and more resources to influence firms, and when portfolio firms have lower stock liquidity and higher information asymmetry prior to the SEC proposal. I further show that mutual funds may exert pressure on portfolio firms to improve their disclosure as a channel to improve stock liquidity. Overall, the results indicate that liquidity management at the fund level has important implications for stock liquidity and information disclosure of portfolio firms.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Federal Lobbying by Audit Firms: Does It Confer Competitive Advantage?

Description

Given that lobbying activity by audit firms constitutes a potential advocacy threat to auditor independence, this paper seeks to provide an economic rationale for audit firm lobbying behavior. Specifically, I

Given that lobbying activity by audit firms constitutes a potential advocacy threat to auditor independence, this paper seeks to provide an economic rationale for audit firm lobbying behavior. Specifically, I examine whether federal lobbying activity by audit firms contributes to their ability to retain existing clients and attract new clients. Consequently, I predict and find that greater lobbying activity is associated with a lower probability of auditor switching behavior as well longer auditor tenure when the client is in an industry with high interest in lobbying. I also find that, when switching audit firms, clients tend to choose audit firms with greater lobbying activity and that companies in industries with high interest in lobbying are more likely to choose an audit firm with greater lobbying activity than their previous auditor.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Do Proprietary Costs Deter Insider Trading?

Description

Insider trading potentially reveals proprietary information, allowing rivals to compete more effectively against the insiders' firm. This paper examines whether proprietary costs are associated with insiders' trading decisions and the

Insider trading potentially reveals proprietary information, allowing rivals to compete more effectively against the insiders' firm. This paper examines whether proprietary costs are associated with insiders' trading decisions and the profitability of their trades. Using a variety of approaches to identify proprietary information risk, I find proprietary costs significantly deter insiders' trading activities. The deterrence effect is more pronounced when insider trading is likely to be more informative to rivals. Specifically, trades by top executives, non-routine trades, and trades at low complexity firms are curbed to a greater extent by proprietary costs. Examining the mechanisms of this deterrence effect, I find firms with higher proprietary costs are more likely to impose insider trading restrictions, and insiders' trading decisions are more sensitive to proprietary costs when they have higher share ownership of the company. These results suggest insiders reduce trading activities not only due to firm policies, but also due to incentive alignment. Finally, when insiders trade despite higher proprietary costs, they earn significantly higher abnormal profits from their purchase transactions. Overall, this study suggests product market considerations are an important factor associated with insiders' trading decisions and profitability of their trades. These findings are likely to be of interest to regulators and corporate boards in setting insider trading policies, and help investors make investment decisions using insider trading signals.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The role of political connections in mitigating policy uncertainty: evidence from firm-specific investment

Description

In this study, I test whether firms reduce the information asymmetry stemming from the political process by investing in political connections. I expect that connected firms enjoy differential access to

In this study, I test whether firms reduce the information asymmetry stemming from the political process by investing in political connections. I expect that connected firms enjoy differential access to relevant political information, and use this information to mitigate the negative consequences of political uncertainty. I investigate this construct in the context of firm-specific investment, where prior literature has documented a negative relation between investment and uncertainty. Specifically, I regress firm investment levels on the interaction of time-varying political uncertainty and the degree of a firm's political connectedness, controlling for determinants of investment, political participation, general macroeconomic conditions, and firm and time-period fixed effects. Consistent with prior work, I first document that firm-specific investment levels are significantly lower during periods of increased uncertainty, defined as the year leading up to a national election. I then assess the extent that political connections offset the negative effect of political uncertainty. Consistent with my hypothesis, I document the mitigating effect of political connections on the negative relation between investment levels and political uncertainty. These findings are robust to controls for alternative explanations related to the pre-electoral manipulation hypothesis and industry-level political participation. These findings are also robust to alternative specifications designed to address the possibility that time-invariant firm characteristics are driving the observed results. I also examine whether investors consider time-varying political uncertainty and the mitigating effect of political connections when capitalizing current earnings news. I find support that the earnings-response coefficient is lower during periods of increased uncertainty. However, I do not find evidence that investors incorporate the value relevant information in political connections as a mitigating factor.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The disposition effect as a determinant of the abnormal volume and return reactions to earnings announcements

Description

I examine the degree to which stockholders' aggregate gain/loss frame of reference in the equity of a given firm affects their response to the firm's quarterly earnings announcements. Contrary to

I examine the degree to which stockholders' aggregate gain/loss frame of reference in the equity of a given firm affects their response to the firm's quarterly earnings announcements. Contrary to predictions from rational expectations models of trade (Shackelford and Verrecchia 2002), I find that abnormal trading volume around earnings announcements is larger (smaller) when stockholders are in an aggregate unrealized capital gain (loss) position. This relation is stronger among seller-initiated trades and weaker in December, consistent with the cognitive bias referred to as the disposition effect (Shefrin and Statman 1985). Sensitivity analysis reveals that the relation is stronger among less sophisticated investors and for firms with weaker information environments, consistent with the behavioral explanation. I also present evidence on the consequences of this disposition effect. First, stockholders' aggregate unrealized capital gain position moderates the degree to which information-related determinants of trade (e.g. unexpected earnings, firm size, and forecast dispersion) affect abnormal announcement-window trading volume. Second, stockholders' aggregate unrealized capital gains position is associated with announcement-window abnormal returns, consistent with the disposition effect reducing the market's ability to efficiently incorporate earnings news into price.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Management earnings guidance and future credit rating agency actions

Description

While credit rating agencies use both forward-looking and historical information in evaluating a firm's credit risk, the role of forward-looking information in their rating decisions is not well understood. In

While credit rating agencies use both forward-looking and historical information in evaluating a firm's credit risk, the role of forward-looking information in their rating decisions is not well understood. In this study, I examine the association between management earnings guidance news and future credit rating changes. While upward earnings guidance is not informative for credit rating changes, downward earnings guidance is significantly and positively associated with both the likelihood and speed of rating downgrades. In cross-sectional analyses, I find that downward guidance is especially informative in two important circumstances: (i) when a firm's current credit rating is overly optimistic compared to a model predicted rating, and (ii) when the relevance or reliability of alternative information sources is lower. In addition, I find that downward guidance is associated with lower future cash flows, as well as a higher volatility of future cash flows. Overall, the results are consistent with credit rating agencies incorporating voluntary bad news disclosures into their decisions about whether and when to downgrade a firm.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015