Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 108 Disclosures: Descriptive Evidence from the Revelation of Accounting Misstatements

47 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2008 Last revised: 19 Jan 2009

See all articles by Marsha B. Keune

Marsha B. Keune

University of Dayton

Karla M. Zehms

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of companies' previously uncorrected financial statement misstatements using disclosures recently mandated by Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 108 (SAB 108). We analyze 355 companies that disclose and correct 792 misstatements in their financial statements filed from November 15, 2006 to February 15, 2008. We present descriptive evidence on the size and industry distribution of companies who disclose SAB 108 adjustments, showing that larger companies and those in the banking/insurance/real estate industries are most commonly represented in our sample. We also describe the types of audit firms that are associated with these companies. The results show that the concentration of sample companies in the banking/insurance/real estate industries are most often audited by the smallest audit firms in the market, and there is considerable variation in the application of quantitative materiality thresholds for SAB 108 disclosures across audit firms. Finally, our descriptive analyses reveal insights about the nature, direction, and magnitude of specific misstatements corrected by SAB 108. For example, we show that the most common SAB 108 misstatement corrections involve current liabilities, deferred taxes, revenue recognition, and leases. In addition, many companies in our sample used SAB 108 to correct misstatements identified in the current year in order to avoid restating prior period financial statements.

Keywords: Staff Accounting Bulletin 108, Materiality, Book-or-Waive Decisions, Error Correction

JEL Classification: M41, M43, M49, G21, G22, G38

Suggested Citation

Keune, Marsha B. and Zehms, Karla M., Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 108 Disclosures: Descriptive Evidence from the Revelation of Accounting Misstatements (December 1, 2008). Accounting Horizons, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1091684

Marsha B. Keune

University of Dayton ( email )

Dayton, OH 45469
United States

Karla M. Zehms (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems ( email )

School of Business
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-234-1052 (Phone)
608-265-5031 (Fax)

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