Earnings Management in the Libyan Corporations

Elseraiti, Alhussien Ramadan (2011) Earnings Management in the Libyan Corporations. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

International accounting scandals around the world have triggered a wave of interest and discussion on the transparency and integrity of financial statements. Prior literature has stated that due to a variety of motivations and by using different techniques, the management of corporations might intend to influence the figures in financial reporting. The preferred term used in the accounting literature to describe this issue is 'earnings management', which is a very interesting and topical issue for researchers. Therefore, this research investigates the earnings management phenomenon in the Libyan environment. In this research, secondary data, which was accruals-based models, and primary data analysis, which included a questionnaire survey combined with semi-structured interviews, were used to achieve the objectives of this research, that are: to determine the existence and the direction of earnings management in the Libyan context; the motivations and techniques behind that; and the earnings management constraints, which include internal accounting standards, corporate governance mechanism and audit quality. The analysis of secondary data examined the existence and the direction of earnings management in Libyan companies. Accruals-based models were applied on a sample of state-owned and private companies. The results indicated that the majority of the companies that engaged in earnings management by using income-increasing policies accruals were state-owned companies. However, the majority of the companies that engaged in earnings management by using income-decreasing policies accruals were private companies. The above results indicated that there are linkages between the direction of earnings management and the nature of company ownership in the Libyan environment. Further, as regards the relationship between the direction of earnings management and company size, the results of the state-owned companies group indicated that company size was positively and significantly associated with discretionary total accruals. On the other hand, the results of the private companies group indicated that company size was negatively and significantly linked to discretionary total accruals. The primary data analysis was used to investigate three main issues: the motivations behind the practice of earnings management; the most frequently used techniques to practice earnings management; and the earnings management constraints, which include accounting standards, internal corporate governance mechanism and audit quality. These subjects were investigated by using a questionnaire survey administered to external auditors, financial managers and senior accountants, internal auditors, lenders, tax officers and accounting academics. Also, a series of semistructured interviews was combined with the questionnaire survey, which was conducted with selected respondents to the survey. Results indicated that the main incentives for practising earnings management in Libyan state-owned companies were: to mitigate the threat of displacement (i.e. safeguard job position) and/or enhance management reputation, to report profits, to increase the value of management compensation, and to meet regulatory objectives. On the other hand, the main incentives for the private companies were to decrease the amount of taxes and to enhance the chance of obtaining bank loans. Further, the results showed that manipulation of the value of inventory, improper assets revaluation, incorrect capitalising rather than expensing of expenditures, manipulation of accrual estimation, incorrect use of expenses on asset acquisition, and related-party transactions were the most frequently used techniques to practice earnings management in Libya. Finally, the results showed a consensus among respondents on the importance of accounting standard. internal corporate governance mechanisms, audit quality as policies to constraint earnings management in the Libya environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accounting standards, Libya
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5601 Accounting. Bookkeeping
H Social Sciences > HG Finance > HG1501 Banking > HG1706 Accounting. Bookkeeping
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Phil Davis
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 12:09
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2016 13:57
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3262

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