The Effect Of Short-Term Debt On Accrual Based Earnings Management And Real Earnings Management

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Sun-young Park

Keywords

Short-Term Debt, Accrual Earnings Management, Real Earnings Management

Abstract

This study investigates whether short-term debt is related to earnings management. Short-term debt is divided into total current liabilities, debt in current liabilities and short-term borrowings. In addition, this study examines how short-term debt is related to how firms manage their earnings. I use discretionary accruals and real operating decisions as the earnings management method. 

The study finds that debt in current liabilities only has a statistically significant impact on accrual earnings management, and short-term borrowings are only shown to have a statistically significant impact on real earnings management. These results indicate that managers engage in accrual earnings management of debt included in current liabilities and use real earnings management of short-term borrowings from financial institutions.

Therefore, this evidence indicates that managers engage in accrual earnings management of debt in included current liabilities when they face the liquidity risk of short-term debt, and the firms with debt financing constraints are likely to manage real earnings in spite of enhanced firm monitoring by lenders such as financial institutions. The findings in this study may have implications in the debate about the monitoring function of financial institutions such as banks.

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