Do Life Cycles Affect Financial Reporting Quality? Evidence from Emerging Market

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Gökberk Can

American University of the Middle East (AUM)

Date Written: February 2, 2020


Purpose – This paper aims to present the effect of life cycle on the financial reporting quality (FRQ). Discretionary accruals, small profits, and audit aggressiveness test the FRQ from different approaches. Recent studies focused on a single measure of FRQ with discretionary accruals (Hribar & Yehuda, 2015) , tax avoidance (Hasan, Al-Hadi, Taylor, & Richardson, 2016; Mangoting & Onggara, 2019), small profits (Nagar & Sen, 2017), and accounting conservatism (Abdullah & Mohd-Saleh, 2014; Hansen, Hong, & Park, 2018; Park & Chen, 2006). There is no attention paid to the audit aggressiveness.
Design/methodology/approach – We used Borsa Istanbul listed companies between the years 2008 and 2017 for the research question. The sample comprises 1,802 observations, 217 companies, and 10 years. We estimated the life stages with Dickinson’s (2011) cash flow patterns for each observation. Following Hansen et al. (2018), we assigned values of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 for introduction, growth, mature, shake-out, and decline, respectively. We used discretionary accruals, small profits, and audit aggressiveness.
Findings – The findings of small profits and discretionary accruals are consistent with conjecture. Discretionary accruals and small profits decrease as the companies move forward in their life cycles. On the other hand, audit aggressiveness increases when the firms grow further in their life cycles. Considering the Turkish financial reporting framework, we also divided the listing duration for each year into quintiles to assign the life cycle to each observation. According to robustness tests, audit aggressiveness reduces with increased listing duration. We observed a negative coefficient but insignificant for the other dependent variables.
Research limitations/implications – This study has some limitations. We did not use any audit or governance based variables. We did not use a third measure to estimate a life cycle for each observation. Earnings quality was calculated using only discretionary accruals. We did not utilize any real activities manipulation models as a proxy of FRQ or its effect on the small profits. Our findings may not be generalized to developed and other emerging countries as Turkey shows a unique picture in terms of political and economic structure.
Practical implications – The findings provide an insight into the effect of life cycle stages on FRQ. Our results showed that the introduction and decline stages negatively affect FRQ. Our results also showed that Turkish companies' audit aggressiveness decreases with increased listing duration.

Keywords: Financial reporting quality, Earnings Management, Life Cycle, Small Profits, Discretionary Accruals, Audit Aggressiveness

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M42, M49

Suggested Citation

Can, Gökberk, Do Life Cycles Affect Financial Reporting Quality? Evidence from Emerging Market (February 2, 2020). Available at SSRN:

Gökberk Can (Contact Author)

American University of the Middle East (AUM) ( email )

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