nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2008‒01‒12
five papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Footnotes Aren't Enough: The Impact of Pension Accounting on Stock Values By Julia Coronado; Olivia S. Mitchell; Steven A. Sharpe; S. Blake Nesbitt
  2. Moving the gender agenda or stirring chicken’s entrails?: where next for feminist methodologies in accounting? By Haynes, Kathryn
  3. Balance-sheet ratios and stock returns: An analysis for Italian banks By Angela Romagnoli
  4. Tax Enforcement for SMEs: Lessons from the Italian Experience? By Giampaolo Arachi and Alessandro Santoro
  5. The Property Tax Incidence Debate and the Mix of State and Local Finance of Local Public Expenditures By George R. Zodrow

  1. By: Julia Coronado; Olivia S. Mitchell; Steven A. Sharpe; S. Blake Nesbitt
    Abstract: Some research has suggested that companies with defined benefit (DB) pensions are sometimes significantly misvalued by the market. This is because the measures of pension cost and pension net liabilities embedded in financial statements, taken at face value, can provide very misleading picture of pension finances. The more pertinent information on pension finances is relegated to footnotes, but might not receive much attention from portfolio managers. But dramatic swings in the financial conditions of large DB plans around the turn of the decade focused widespread attention on pension accounting practices, and dissatisfaction with current accounting standards has recently prompted the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to take up a project revamp DB pension accounting. Arguably, the increased attention should have made investors wise to the informational problems, thereby eliminating systematic mispricing in recent years. We test this proposition and conclude that investors continued to misvalue DB pensions, inducing sizable valuation errors in the stock of many companies. Our findings suggest that FASB's current reform efforts could substantially aid the market's ability to value firms with DB pensions.
    JEL: D8 G12 G2 G23 G32 J26 J48 M41 M52
    Date: 2008–01
  2. By: Haynes, Kathryn
    Abstract: Purpose – The paper critiques recent research on gender and accounting to explore how feminist methodology can move on and radicalise the gender agenda in the accounting context. Design/methodology/approach – After examining current research on gender and accounting, the paper explores the nature of feminist methodology and its relation to epistemology. It explores three inter-related tenets of feminist methodology in detail: Power and Politics, Subjectivity and Reflexivity. Findings – The paper suggests that much research in the accounting is concerned with gender-as-a-variable, rather than being distinctly feminist, thus missing the opportunity to radicalise the agenda. It makes suggestions for how a feminist approach to methodology could be applied to the accounting context. Originality/value – The paper calls for a wider application of a feminist approach to accounting research and where this might be applied. Keywords – feminism, methodology, epistemology, gender, accounting, power, reflexivity, subjectivity Paper type – conceptual paper
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Angela Romagnoli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper assesses whether the monthly returns of the listed shares of Italian banks are predicted by changes in balance-sheet indicators. The sample covers the period from January 1997 to June 2003. Estimates use both unadjusted and risk-adjusted returns. Results show that the stock returns of Italian banks are positively related to past profitability, liquidity, and asset quality, while they are not significantly affected by banksÂ’ capital ratios. Furthermore, in the sample period an increase in traditional lending activity leads to higher stock returns.
    Keywords: bank stock returns, bank-specific accounting ratios
    JEL: C14 G12 G21
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Giampaolo Arachi and Alessandro Santoro
    Abstract: The paper aims to provide a detailed description and evaluation of the Italian experience in tax auditing and enforcement for SMEs which we believe may have some lessons for developing countries with similar sized shadow economies and large numbers of micro-enterprises. We focus on an audit strategy known as “Studi di settore”, which roughly translates as “business sector analyses”, which relies on statistical methods to select the taxpayers to be audited. We show how Studi di settore can be used as an audit rule or as a presumptive tax and we compare it with optimal audit rules and with alternative presumptive taxes on the basis of the available evidence for Italy. We discuss whether Studi di settore may be a useful policy tool for establishing presumptive taxation for SMEs in developing countries when resources for tax auditing are scarce. A presumptive regime may naturally evolve in a full-fledged audit selection mechanism following the development of the private and public sectors.
    Keywords: tax evasion, shadow economy, SMEs, audit strategies, presumptive taxation, Italy, developing countries
    Date: 2008–01–07
  5. By: George R. Zodrow (Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University)
    Abstract: Many states in the US have in recent years changed the mix of state and local revenue sources used to finance local public expenditures, especially primary and secondary education, with local property taxes being replaced by various sources of state tax revenue. This article examines the desirability of such a tax substitution, focusing on the implications of the long-standing debate between the “benefit tax” and “capital tax” views of the incidence of the tax. It also includes a discussion of some recent research that elaborates the capital tax view of the property tax.
    Keywords: Property tax incidence, capitalization, capital tax view, new view, benefit tax view, Texas tax reform, margin tax
    JEL: H10 H21 H22 H71
    Date: 2008

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