Accruals and Real Earnings Management: Testing the Debt Covenant Hypothesis
Source of Publication
International Journal of Accounting and Finance
This paper examines earnings management activities around debt covenant violations. We focus on accruals management and real activities manipulation behavior of managers in the quarters around the covenant violation. We expect covenant restrictions to influence these activities in the quarters surrounding and the quarter of the violation. The evidence is consistent with managers manipulating earnings using accrual-based and real earnings management activities and provides evidence for the debt covenant hypothesis. Cross-sectional analyses reveal that managers appear to manipulate accruals in successive quarters in order to increase reported earnings. The evidence on the use of real activities suggests that while managers increase reported earnings in the violation quarter, they have limited discretion over the use of real earnings management techniques in the quarters surrounding the violation.
Butt, Umar; Chamberlain, Trevor; and Sarkar, Sudipto, "Accruals and Real Earnings Management: Testing the Debt Covenant Hypothesis" (2016). All Works. 336.
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