Browsing by Subject "AoS: Financial management, accounting, and governance"

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  • Leitner-Hanetseder, Susanne; Lehner, Othmar M.; Eisl, Christoph; Forstenlechner, Carina (2021-05-07)
    Purpose: This article ties in with current debates on the digital transformation of society and the consequent work changes. Using an artificial intelligence (AI)-based accounting context, the focus of this paper is on actors, roles and tasks and related skills on an individual level. The authors look at the effect of AI-based “smart” technology on the workforce in the broader accounting profession taking an intrafirm perspective, yet acknowledging that the digital transformation encompasses a much larger field in the financial sector. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conduct a Delphi study to identify the new roles and tasks in future accounting. In addition, the authors use expert workshops to clarify the related tasks and skills and determine whether either humans or AI-based technologies perform the roles or collaborate in professional accounting occupations. Findings: The results show that tasks and skills for existing professional occupations in the broader acounting context will be subject to major changes in the next 10 years due to (AI based) digital technologies, while “core” roles and tasks will continue to exist in the future, some will not be performed by humans but by AI-based technology. For other “new” roles, humans will need to make informed use of digital technologies and, to some extent, collaborate with AI-based technology. Research limitations/implications: The authors look at the effect of AI-based “smart” technology on the workforce in the broader accounting profession, taking an intrafirm perspective. Practical implications: This article ties in with current debates on the digital transformation of society and the consequent work changes. Using an AI-based accounting context, the focus of this paper is on the new and adapted roles and tasks. Originality/value: The comprehensive analysis based on the Delphi study and expert workshops provide ample innovative ground for future research on the impact of AI on organisations and society.
  • Ittonen, Kim; Myllymäki, Emma-Riikka; Tronnes, Per Christen (2019-07-01)
    Purpose This paper focuses on bankaudit committees and examines whether audit committee members who are formerauditors are associated with the acquisition of audit and non-audit servicesfrom their former employers.   Design/methodology/approach The study empirically examinesa sample of large banks that are included in the S&P Composite 1500.   Findings The paper reportssignificantly lower audit fees and a higher proportion of non-audit fees tototal fees when the audit committee chair is an alumnus of the incumbent auditfirm. Moreover, additional analysis reveals that these findings are strongerfor banks with more earnings management.   Researchlimitations/implications Overall, the findings indicatethat audit firms might consider banks using their alumni as audit committeechairs to be less risky or easier to audit, thus requiring relatively lesseffort from the auditors. The reduced effort required to audit clients withaudit firm alumni on their audit committees then has the effect of reducing theaudit fees charged. Alternatively, their auditing experience and cognitiveproximity might influence the assessment of the need for auditing or theability to negotiate lower audit fees on the part of audit firm alumni.   Originality/value This paper provides empiricalevidence of the association between audit firm alumni in influential positionson an audit committee and fees paid to those audit firms in the bankingindustry. The findings contribute to the literature by suggesting that bankswith affiliated former auditors chairing their audit committees not only havesignificantly lower audit fees but also a higher proportion is spent onnon-audit services.
  • Fischer, Katharina; Lehner, Othmar M. (2021-03-23)
    Emanating from the influential survey of Barberis and Thaler (2003), this systematic literature review examines the significant volume of studies on behavioral finance from 36 reputable finance journals published be-tween 2009 and 2019. The findings are clustered into eight prominent research streams, which indicate the current developments in behavioral finance. Findings show that research intensively focuses on behavioral biases and their influence on economic phenomena. Driven by the impetus to understand the human mind, significant findings originated in the relatively new field of Neurofinance. Additionally, the analysis addresses the influence of market sentiment and its correlation with some of the other findings. Furthermore, implications on the limits to arbitrage in connection with some financial anomalies complete the holistic picture.
  • Colak, Gonul; Korkeamäki, Timo (2021-07-08)
    Career concerns can limit a manager's willingness to take risks, which can lead to excessive policy conservatism. An increase in a CEO's ability and willingness to change jobs (CEO mobility) can diversify her human capital and reduce her conservatism. We derive several CEO mobility measures and relate them to a policy riskiness index that captures the overall risk embedded in a firm's corporate policies. We find a strong positive relation between CEO mobility and the riskiness of corporate policies. We also link external regulatory shocks that constrain labor mobility to significant drops in corporate risk-taking.
  • Amiram, Dan; Jorgensen, Bjorn; Rabetti, Daniel (2022-03-23)
    This study examines whether we can learn from the behavior of blockchain-based transfers to predict the financing of terrorist attacks. We exploit blockchain transaction transparency to map millions of transfers for hundreds of large on-chain service providers. The mapped dataset permits us to empirically conduct several analyses. First, we analyze abnormal transfer volume in the vicinity of large-scale highly visible terrorist attacks. We document evidence consistent with heightened activity in coin wallets belonging to unregulated exchanges and mixer services – central to laundering funds between terrorist groups and operatives on the ground. Next, we use forensic accounting techniques to follow the trails of funds associated with the Sri Lanka Easter bombing. Insights from this event corroborate our findings and aid in our construction of a blockchain-based predictive model. Finally, using machine-learning algorithms, we demonstrate that fund trails have predictive power in out-of-the sample analysis. Our study is informative to researchers, regulators, and market players, in providing methods for detecting the flow of terrorist funds on blockchain-based systems using accounting knowledge and techniques.
  • Cho, Hye-jin; Lehner, Othmar M.; Nilavongse, Rachatar (2021-01-20)
    Purpose: With the macroprudential approach, systemic risk is explained by a general equilibrium (GE) model. However, since on-balance-sheet and off-balance-sheet (OBS) risks are structurally segmented, for example annually or periodically on financial statements, the GE model might need further integration with OBS risks including ecological shocks. Design/methodology/approach: This study develops a theoretical two-period model with consumption, investment and loans, which further includes carbon emissions to distinguish between loans for “green” or “brown” firms to enhance the perspective of ecological sustainability. Findings: The paper shows how the environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors might be of relevance in the standard bank capital regulatory structure. In dealing with ecological sustainability, a new methodological framework with the green K-index introduces penalties to be paid in the capital structure related to ESG factors. The model is enhanced for screening green or brown firms related to impact investing. The integrated view of financial stability and ecological sustainability further illuminates how a wide cross-sectoral resilience of a green K-index measure for the economy might be achievable. Research limitations/implications: A stock-flow consistent model with balance-sheet methods raises the question whether all necessary variables and parameters can be computed in practice. Compared to the agent-based model (ABM), this model additionally lacks inputs from agents' behaviour, thus non-rational decisions, which may be relevant in practice. More generally, by adopting a balance-sheet structure, the model shows a coherent framework with relevant variables. The methodology of the GE model with OBS has not been scholarly explored and thus is presented for discussion rather than generalisation. The GE model with OBS provides a new interpretation of systemic risk and interbank relations with a consideration of ecological aspects. Its economic implication contributes to contemporary banking theory as well as to the sustainability discussions in the larger financial sector. Practical implications: Banks and investors can more carefully measure the ecological risks in their loan portfolios and make better informed decisions leading to a better sustainability of the financial markets. Originality/value: This study develops a theoretical GE model with off-balance-sheet risks. The model adds green regulation enhancing the capital regulation framework relevant to sustainability. This, in turn, enhances the role of banks in a coherent economic framework for loan decisions towards a much greener finance.
  • Liljeblom, Eva; Maury, Benjamin; Hörhammer, Alexander (2019-07-30)
    Purpose – State ownership has been common especially in industries with restricted competition. In Russia, state controlled firms represent around 41% of the market value of all listed firms (Deloitte, 2015). Yet, there is a significant gap in the literature regarding the effects of various forms of government control in listed firms. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by exploring the impact of the complexity of state ownership and competition on the performance of Russian listed firms. Design/methodology/approach – The sample consists of data for 72 firms (360 firm-years) in the Russian MOEX broad market index during 2011-2015. The complexity of state ownership is captured by studying forms of state control including majority/minority, direct/indirect, federal/regional, mixed structures, and golden shares. Findings – We find significant differences in performance relating to different forms of state ownership. State control is negatively related to firm valuation and the sales/employees ratio. Performance is weakest when state ownership takes the form minority, regional, or direct ownership. State control through golden shares typically outperforms other state controlled firms. We find indications of employment prioritization beyond the economical optimum. In addition, the relation between state ownership and profitability becomes positive in sectors where state firms appear to enjoy lower competition. Originality/value – While the effects of state ownership have been studied on many markets, there is a lack of studies on the effects of different forms, or the complexity, of state ownership beyond direct and indirect ownership. We contribute to the literature on the performance effects of state ownership by studying a multitude of forms of governmental ownership as well as the role of competition in Russia. Especially the profitability of state controlled firms is significantly affected by industry characteristics. Implications of the results are discussed both from firm and policy maker perspectives.
  • Blomkvist, Magnus; Löflund, Anders; Vyas, Hitesh (2020-05-24)
    Credit ratings display an inverse U-shaped relation over the corporate life-cycle. Firms’ likelihood to obtain a rating initially increases over the life-cycle as reputation increases and asymmetric information is reduced. As investment opportunities diminish during the shakeout and decline phases the benefit of having a rating decreases. The economic effect is substantial: transitioning from the introduction to the growth phase increases the rating likelihood from 6.7% to 30%.
  • Kruskopf, Shawnie; Lobbas, Charlotta; Meinander, Hanna; Söderling, Kira; Martikainen, Minna; Lehner, Othmar (2020-05-27)
    This paper gives an overview of the current and future technologies impacting accounting and auditing fields. The aim is to present the technological disruptions shaping these fields and also look at how they might influence future jobs and required skills. Starting with a historical background check on how Industry 4.0 emerged, we survey four main areas of the topic: 1)current developments supported with real-l ife cases, 2) a literature review of on-going research, 3) possible future job descriptions, and 4) required skills and how to acquire them.
  • Badia, Marc; Duro, Miguel; Jorgensen, Bjorn N.; Ormazabal, Gaizka (2021)
    We study the effects of mandatory disclosure on competitive interactions in the setting of oil and gas (O&G) reserve disclosures by North American public firms. We document that reserve disclosures inform competitors: when one firm announces larger increases in O&G reserves, competitors experience lower announcement returns and higher real investments. To sharpen identification, we analyze several sources of cross-sectional variation in these patterns, the degree of competition, and the sign and the source of reserves changes. We also exploit two plausibly exogenous shocks: the tightening of the O&G reserve disclosure rules and the introduction of fracking technology. Additional tests more directly focused on the presence of proprietary costs confirm that the mandated reserve disclosures result in a relative loss of competitive edge for announcing firms. Our collective evidence highlights important trade-offs in the market-wide effects of disclosure regulation.
  • Höglund, Henrik; Sundvik, Dennis (2019-04-16)
    This study investigates the association between private company auditing and intertemporal income shifting. Using a large reduction in the Finnish corporate tax rate as a strong incentive for income shifting and financial statement data coupled with proprietary information from the tax authorities, we analyse accruals and cost stickiness of small private companies. Our results reveal significant differences in accrual income shifting between audited and unaudited companies, but only among companies that on average could anticipate the tax reduction the most. Further, we find auditors to restrict sticky selling, general, and administrative cost behaviour that we hypothesise is associated with illegal actions. Additional tests expose a nontrivial number of incorrectly unaudited companies which are the ones mostly associated with income shifting. Taken together, our study highlights the effects of audit exemption and the importance of enforcement while also suggesting that the audit process is value adding for the tax authorities.
  • Blomkvist, Magnus; Felixson, Karl; Löflund, Anders (2019-03-16)
    The relationship between acquirer capital structure and the payment choice in acquisitions is well documented. However, the target firm's capital structure has been overlooked. We find that acquisitions of underleveraged targets are more likely to be financed by cash than by equity. A 1% increase of the target firm's deviation from normal leverage decreases the proportion of cash used by 0.76%. We conclude that target firm capital structure is important for the choice of payment.
  • Owen, Robyn; Lehner, Othmar; Lyon, Fergus; Brennan, Geraldine (2020-01-07)
    How might a Green New Deal be applied to the early stage financing of Cleantechs? Amidst rising interest and adoption of Green New Deals in the US, the paper explores the need for more focused policy to address early stage long horizon financing of Cleantechs. We argue that insufficient focus has been applied to early stage investing into these types of innovative SMEs that could lower CO2 emissions across a range of sectors (including renewable energy, recycling, advanced manufacturing, transport and bio-science). Adopting a resource complementarity lens and borrowing from transaction cost theory, we illustrate and build theory through longitudinal UK case studies. These demonstrate how government policy can scale-up through international collaboration public-private, principally venture capital, co-finance to facilitate cleantech innovation with potentially game changing impacts on reducing CO2 emissions in order to meet the Paris 2015 Climate Change targets.
  • Afzali, Mansoor; Colak, Gonul; Fu, Mengchuan (2021-12-01)
    We study the influence of policy uncertainty on the moral behavior of firms. When facing uncertainty, managers perceive various socioeconomic obstacles as more severe and disruptive to their business. Using data from policy uncertainty spouts in 93 countries, we document that some firms engage in norm-deviant behavior by cheating on taxes and paying more bribes. While private firms prefer to cheat on taxes, public firms choose bribery as a favorite tool to “grease the wheels” during periods of uncertainty. Strong social capital (local trust and religiosity) breaks this link between uncertainty and corruption.
  • Haga, Jesper; Huhtamäki, Fredrik; Sundvik, Dennis (2021-02-13)
    In this study, we examine the relationship between employee effort within the firm and earnings management, using data on working hours and discretionary accruals. With higher employee effort, we find less earnings management among U.S. firms. This result is stronger when earnings are more predictable and persists after we control for endogeneity. We also find smaller earnings discontinuities with higher employee effort. Our domestic results remain the same with a global sample. Our results suggest that earnings management enables benchmark beating with greater precision than can high employee effort alone, but also that high-effort firms may be misclassified as earnings manipulators.
  • Aspara, Jaakko; Huhtala, Juho Petteri; Mattila, Pekka; Tikkanen, Henrikki; Vaniala, Iiro (Nordic Institute for Business & Society NIBS; Directors' Institute Finland DIF, 2019)
  • Ihamuotila, Maria; Liljeblom, Eva; Maury, Benjamin (2021-11-30)
    We study whether experience matters for acquirers in non-tech sectors when conducting acquisitions of high-tech targets. The topic is motivated by the rapid development of advanced and digital technologies that has fuelled tech-related M&A volumes, where companies seek high-tech targets to substitute or complement their own R&D and to stay competitive. Studying 1146 tech-oriented deals announced by European acquirers during the period of 2006-2019, we find the acquirer investors to be clearly optimistic about such takeovers, with positive and significant two-day cumulative abnormal returns of 0,82%. We also find that industrial acquirers seem to gain substantially. Lastly, one-time buyers were found to experience significantly higher cumulative abnormal returns than frequent buyers, and frequent buyers to exhibit a weak declining return pattern in subsequent deals. This implies that companies get rewarded for acquiring digital technology, and especially so in their first initiative to digitalize their business.
  • Losbichler, Heimo; Lehner, Othmar M. (2021-01-13)
    Purpose: Looking at the limits of artificial intelligence (AI) and controlling based on complexity and system-theoretical deliberations, the authors aimed to derive a future outlook of the possible applications and provide insights into a future complementary of human–machine information processing. Derived from these examples, the authors propose a research agenda in five areas to further the field. Design/methodology/approach: This article is conceptual in its nature, yet a theoretically informed semi-systematic literature review from various disciplines together with empirically validated future research questions provides the background of the overall narration. Findings: AI is found to be severely limited in its application to controlling and is discussed from the perspectives of complexity and cybernetics. A total of three such limits, namely the Bremermann limit, the problems with a partial detectability and controllability of complex systems and the inherent biases in the complementarity of human and machine information processing, are presented as salient and representative examples. The authors then go on and carefully illustrate how a human–machine collaboration could look like depending on the specifics of the task and the environment. With this, the authors propose different angles on future research that could revolutionise the application of AI in accounting leadership. Research limitations/implications: Future research on the value promises of AI in controlling needs to take into account physical and computational effects and may embrace a complexity lens. Practical implications: AI may have severe limits in its application for accounting and controlling because of the vast amount of information in complex systems. Originality/value: The research agenda consists of five areas that are derived from the previous discussion. These areas are as follows: organisational transformation, human–machine collaboration, regulation, technological innovation and ethical considerations. For each of these areas, the research questions, potential theoretical underpinnings as well as methodological considerations are provided.
  • Haga, Jesper Per Alexander; Huhtamäki, Fredrik Johannes; Sundvik, Dennis (2019-07)
    In this study, we investigate how country-level long-term orientation affects managers' willingness to engage in earnings management and choice of earnings management strategy. Using a comprehensive dataset of 47 countries for the period from 2003 to 2015, we find that firms in long-term-oriented cultures rely relatively more on earnings management through accruals, while firms in short-term-oriented cultures engage in relatively more real earnings management. Furthermore, we find a larger discontinuity around earnings benchmarks in long-term-oriented cultures suggesting that manipulation of accruals enables benchmark beating with high precision.
  • Lundqvist, Alex; Liljeblom, Eva; Löflund, Anders; Maury, Benjamin (2019-07-24)
    Purpose The cultural and legal differences between foreign acquirers and African target firms can be substantial. There is also a large variation in cultures and legal systems within Africa. However, there is limited research on merger and acquisition (M&A) performance by foreign firms in Africa. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by exploring the “spillover by law” hypothesis (Martynova and Renneboog, 2008) that focuses on the influence of the external environment on the governance and performance of foreign M&As in Africa.   Design/methodology/approach The data set covers 415 M&A transactions by foreign firms in Africa during the period of 1999–2016. Dynamic data covering the country’s legal, cultural and political environment are collected from the World Bank, the Heritage Foundation and Transparency International.   Findings The authors find that the legal environment significantly affects the returns of bidders on African firms. For complete acquisitions, bidder returns are significantly higher when the bidder’s country has higher shareholder protection and higher creditor protection compared with the target firm’s country. The results show that the effects are significant when there is a full control change (including a change in the target firm’s nationality) but not in the case of partial control transfers. The results are consistent with the “spillover by law” hypothesis.   Originality/value The authors contribute to the literature on cross-border M&As by separately studying the valuation effects of full, majority and minority changes in control; by being the first study of the legal spillover effects in Africa; and by being the most extensive study of the legal determinants of the valuations of non-African acquirers of African firms.