The Relation between Earnings Management and Financial Statement Fraud
Advances in Accounting, 27(1), 39-53, 2011
Posted: 25 Jan 2013
Date Written: October 1, 2010
This paper provides new evidence on the characteristics of firms that commit financial statement fraud. We examine how previous earnings management impacts the likelihood that a firm will commit financial statement fraud and in doing so develop three new fraud predictors. Using a sample of 54 fraud and 54 non-fraud firms, we find that fraud firms are more likely to have managed earnings in prior years and that earnings management in prior years is associated with a higher likelihood that firms that meet or beat analyst forecasts or that inflate revenue are committing fraud. We further find that fraud firms are more likely to meet or beat analyst forecasts and inflate revenue than non-fraud firms are even when there is no evidence of prior earnings management. This paper contributes to the fraud detection literature and the earnings management literature, and can help practitioners and regulators develop better fraud detection models.
Keywords: Fraud, Earnings management, Analyst forecasts, Unexpected Revenue per Employee
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