Accrual-Based and Real Earnings Management Activities Around Seasoned Equity Offerings

47 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2008

See all articles by Daniel A. Cohen

Daniel A. Cohen

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management

Paul Zarowin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2008

Abstract

We examine earnings management behavior around SEOs, focusing on both real activities and accrual-based manipulation, and how this behavior varies over time and cross-sectionally. Although research has addressed the issues of earnings management around SEOs and earnings management via real activities manipulation, ours is the first paper to put these two issues together. We make three contributions to the literature. First, we document that firms use real, as well as accrual-based, earnings management tools around SEOs. Second, consistent with the expectation that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has made accrual-based earnings management more costly, we find that firms have substituted from accrual to real earnings management after SOX. Finally, we show how the tendency for firms to trade-off real versus accrual-based earnings management activities around SEOs varies cross-sectionally. We find that firms choices vary predictably as a function of the firm s ability to use accrual management and the costs of doing so. Our model is a first step in examining how firms trade-off between real versus accrual methods of earnings management.

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Daniel A. and Zarowin, Paul, Accrual-Based and Real Earnings Management Activities Around Seasoned Equity Offerings (January 2008). NYU Working Paper No. PAUL ZAROWIN-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1281359

Daniel A. Cohen (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States
972-883-4772 (Phone)
972-883-6811 (Fax)

Paul Zarowin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting ( email )

40 West 4th Street, Suite 400
422 Tisch Hall
New York, NY 10012-1118
United States
212-998-0015 (Phone)
212-995-4004 (Fax)

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