J. van Ravenstein
- Does audit quality influence the relation between earnings management and internal control weakness in the post - SOX period?
- International Journal of Sustainable Economies Management
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Material weaknesses in the internal control system of a company create more opportunities for managers to engage in opportunistic earnings management. In this study the authors investigate the relation between earnings management and disclosed material weaknesses in the internal controls, both under SOX 302 and SOX 404, and examine whether audit quality, measured as being audited by a Big Four auditor, has an effect on that relation. The results suggest that material weakness firms have more absolute discretionary accruals and greater income-decreasing discretionary accruals. So evidence is provided that material weakness firms engage in more earnings management, however not in opportunistic income-increasing earnings management. When audit quality is high, measured as being audited by a Big Four auditor, the disclosed material weaknesses are lower just as total and absolute discretionary accruals are. It is also interesting in our findings that when material weakness firms are audited by a Big Four auditor a positive relationship seems to exist with discretionary accruals, suggesting that when a firm is audited by a Big Four auditor, material weaknesses in the internal controls will lead to opportunistic earnings management.
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