Investigation of the Relationship between Accounting Conservatism and Earnings Management Using Benford's Law in Listed Companies of Tehran Stock Exchange

Document Type: Original Research

Authors

1 PhD in Accounting, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 MA in Accounting, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

The present study investigates the relationship between accounting conservatism and earnings management using Benford's Law. In this study, the quantitative index of conservatism (cscore) by Khan & Watts (2009) was considered as the accounting conservatism. Target sample includes 363 listed companies in Tehran Stock Exchange during 1999-2015. Divergence between the actual earning and loss frequencies and Benford' distribution has been taken into account. Chi-square and Z-statistic tests, regards to degrees of conservatism were applied. The results revealed that in companies with low or high levels of conservatism, distribution of earning and lose first to fourth digits follow Benford's law. However the distribution of first and second digits of earning, and first to fourth digits of losses differ from the expected distribution when there is an increase in conservatism. Divergence between the third and fourth digits and expected distribution reduced, when conservatism increases.

Keywords


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