The Effects of Accounting Restatements on Firm Growth
37 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012 Last revised: 28 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 14, 2012
Do restatements result in lower firm growth? One argument in support of this contention is that accounting restatements hurt contracting relations between the firm and outside parties such as a firm’s customers and suppliers, negatively impacting firm cash flows. The negative impact on cash flow reduces the level of internal cash holdings available for investment. Another argument is that restatements dampen firm growth by increasing the firm’s cost of external financing. We empirically evaluate these arguments by using the standard sales growth based financial planning model. In carrying out our analysis, we distinguish the effects of restatement on overall firm growth as well as its components of internally and externally financed growth. Our findings suggest that overall firm growth rates decline following a restatement. Furthermore, we find that accounting restatements have a greater adverse impact on externally financed growth rates. We also find that not all restatements yield identical effects: the impact of restatements is more pronounced for the subsample of firms identified to have undertaken the more egregious fraudulent reporting than the subsample of firms that reported restatements to correct previous accounting errors. We also find that firms with severe restatements, measured based on announcement period market reactions, have lower externally financed growth. Overall, our evidence highlights the adverse impact of restatement on firm growth, particularly through external financing.
Keywords: Corporate misreporting, Accounting restatement, Firm growth, External financing
JEL Classification: G32, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation