ABSTRACT Our goal is to understand the extent to which cash-flow properties explain accruals. Using the Dechow, Kothari, and Watts (1998) model, we derive a negative relation between accruals and cash-flow changes, and show that the strength of the relation is linked to negative serial correlation in cash-flow changes. Dechow et al. (1998) also suggest that the strength of the relation between accruals and revenue changes relates to operating cycle length. Prior accrual models have not incorporated these theoretical relations. We show that incorporating cash-flow changes, serial correlation in cash-flow changes, and operating cycle length increases explanatory power of all accrual models considered (i.e., Jones 1991 ; Ball and Shivakumar 2006 ; McNichols 2002 ; Jeter and Shivakumar 1999 ). We find that incorporating these variables in accrual models also improves specification and power, aids detection of earnings management in AAER firms, and produces a nondiscretionary accrual estimate that better predicts future cash flows and earnings. These results suggest the importance of considering the economic role of accruals when predicting accruals.
ABSTRACT We examine the relation between accounting conservatism and creditor recovery rates for firms in default. We also test the link between conservatism and the length of bankruptcy resolutions. We find that creditors of firms with more conservative accounting before default have significantly higher recovery rates, and that this positive relation is more pronounced for default firms that violated covenants before the default. We also find that conservative firms have higher asset productivity, shorter bankruptcy resolution, and a significantly higher probability of emerging from bankruptcy. These results suggest that accounting conservatism preserves firm value, leading to higher creditor recovery upon borrower default. JEL Classifications: M4; G32; G33; G34.
This paper examines whether auditor fees are associated with earnings management and the market reaction to the disclosure of auditor fees. Using data collected from proxy statements, we present evidence that nonaudit fees are positively associated with small earnings surprises and the magnitude of discretionary accruals, while audit fees are negatively associated with these earnings management indicators. We also find evidence of a negative association between nonaudit fees and share values on the date the fees were disclosed, although the effect is small in economic terms.