Short-Term Earnings Guidance and Accrual-Based Earnings Management
44 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2013
Date Written: May 18, 2013
Motivated by recent practitioners’ concerns that short-term earnings guidance leads to managerial myopia, we investigate the impact of short-term earnings guidance on earnings management. Using a propensity-score matched control sample, we find strong and consistent evidence that the issuance of short-term quarterly earnings guidance is associated with less, rather than more, earnings management. We also find that regular guiders exhibit less earnings management than do less regular guiders. Our findings hold using both abnormal accruals and discretionary revenues to measure earnings management, and after controlling for potential reverse causality concerns. Furthermore, in a setting where managers have particularly strong capital market incentives to manage earnings, we corroborate the above findings by documenting that earnings guidance either has no impact on or actually mitigates earnings management. Overall, our evidence does not support the criticism from practitioners that short-term earnings guidance leads to more earnings management.
Keywords: Earnings guidance, management forecasts, earnings management, abnormal accruals, discretionary revenues
JEL Classification: M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation