Do Strong Shareholder Rights Mitigate Earnings Management?

Do Strong Shareholder Rights Mitigate Earnings Management?

Marshall A. Geiger University of Richmond – E. Claiborne Robins School of Business – Economics

David S. North University of Richmond – E. Claiborne Robins School of Business

April 5, 2013
Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy, Vol. 14 No. 2, 2013

In this paper we examine the relationship between the strength of a firm’s shareholders rights, as part of their overall corporate governance structure, and the discretionary financial reporting choices made by the firm’s financial executives. Specifically, we examine the strength of shareholders rights and the reported levels of discretionary accounting accruals and the use of special reporting items on the income statement. We posit and find that in settings where shareholder rights are strong, after controlling for other reporting related factors, managers report lower levels of discretionary accruals and special reporting items, and use special reporting items significantly less frequently compared to firms with weak shareholder rights. Our findings suggest that having strong shareholder rights imposes additional monitoring on the firm’s financial reporting executives, leading to reduced earnings management attempts by financial executives and higher quality financial reporting.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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