nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2009‒11‒21
five papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis? By Christian Laux; Christian Leuz
  2. Accounting and economic measures: an integrated theory of capital budgeting By Carlo Alberto Magni
  3. Regulating the International Audit Market and the removal of barriers to entry: The provision of non audit services by audit firms and the 2006 Statutory Audit Directive By Ojo, Marianne
  4. Measuring bank efficiency: tradition or sophistication? - A note By Daley, Jenifer; Matthews, Kent
  5. Traditional methods versus modern methods of determining unitary cost in forestry By Tenovici , Cristina; Albici , Mihaela; Parpandel, Denisa Elena

  1. By: Christian Laux; Christian Leuz
    Abstract: The recent financial crisis has led to a major debate about fair-value accounting. Many critics have argued that fair-value accounting, often also called mark-to-market accounting, has significantly contributed to the financial crisis or, at least, exacerbated its severity. In this paper, we assess these arguments and examine the role of fair-value accounting in the financial crisis using descriptive data and empirical evidence. Based on our analysis, it is unlikely that fair-value accounting added to the severity of the current financial crisis in a major way. While there may have been downward spirals or asset-fire sales in certain markets, we find little evidence that these effects are the result of fair-value accounting. We also find little support for claims that fair-value accounting leads to excessive write-downs of banks’ assets. If anything, empirical evidence to date points in the opposite direction, that is, towards overvaluation of bank assets.
    JEL: F3 G15 G21 G24 G38 K22 M41
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Carlo Alberto Magni
    Abstract: Accounting measures are traditionally considered not significant from an economic point of view. In particular, accounting rates of return are often regarded economically meaningless or, at the very best, poor surrogates for the IRR, which is held to be “the” economic yield. Likewise, residual income does not enjoy, in general, periodic consistency with the project NPV, so residual income maximization is not equivalent to NPV maximization. This paper shows that the opposition accounting/economic is artificial and, taking a capital budgeting perspective, illustrates the strong (formal and conceptual) connections existing between economic measures and accounting measures. In particular, the average accounting rate of return is the correct economic yield of a project; the traditional IRR is (whenever it exists) only a particular case of it. The average accounting rate generates a decision rule which is logically equivalent to the NPV rule for both accept/reject decisions and project ranking. The paper also shows that maximization of the simple arithmetic mean of residual incomes is equivalent to NPV maximization, owing to its periodic consistency in the sense of Egginton (1995). Such an index may then be used for incentive compensation as well. Moreover, asset pricing may be interpreted in accounting terms as the process whereby the market determines the income impact on the assets’ value. As a result, the paper harmonizes the notions of accounting rate of return, internal rate of return, residual income, net present value: they are just different ways of cognizing the same notion. This conciliation stems in a rather natural way from three sources: (i) a fundamental accounting identity, which links income and cash flow in a comprehensive way, (ii) the definition of Chisini mean, (iii) a notion of residual income which takes account of the “real” (comprehensive) cost of capital.
    Date: 2009–11–04
  3. By: Ojo, Marianne
    Abstract: From the responses received from the European Commission’s consultation on control structures in audit firms and their consequences on the audit market, a consultation which was launched in November 2008, and whose deadline was scheduled for the end of February 2009, the role played by the facilitation of greater access to external financial capital as a means of increasing access to the audit market, hence opening up the market for the audit of international companies to more suppliers, and encouraging new market players, was acknowledged. However, this factor on its own, coupled with the need to amend current rules on the control of audit firms, namely through a relaxation of the rules – beyond that which is currently permitted under Article 3 of the 2006 Statutory Audit Directive, was not considered to be the most important source of impediment to the emergence of new players. Other further possible catalysts, both on the supply side (namely auditors) and the demand side (companies), were also considered vital to efforts aimed at encouraging more players in gaining access to the international audit market. This paper will focus on greater access to external financial capital - as a means of lowering barriers to the international audit market. In arriving at the conclusion that the benefits associated with the external investor model outweigh the possible risks it generates, the paper not only considers theories on managerial behaviour and ownership structure, but also gives attention to the safeguards for audit independence as listed under the 2002 Statutory Auditors’ Independence in the EU: A Set of Fundamental Principles, and the 2006 Statutory Audit Directive. It will also consider why, in view of the limitations and restrictions placed on audit firms, with particular reference to the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, actions aimed at encouraging new market players at EU level, whilst ensuring that auditors’ independence and audit quality are not compromised, would also require a consideration of an international dimension of issues involved in lowering barriers to entry.
    Keywords: 2006 Statutory Audit Directive; non audit services; regulation; audit concentration; governance; audit independence; Sarbanes Oxley Act.
    JEL: G1 D23 K2 G28 M4
    Date: 2009–11–14
  4. By: Daley, Jenifer; Matthews, Kent (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: The recent literature on measuring bank performance indicates a preference for sophisticated techniques over simple accounting ratios. We explore the results and relationships between bank efficiency estimates using accounting ratios and Data Envelope Analysis (DEA) with bootstrap among Jamaican banks between 1998 and 2007. The results indicate different outcomes for the traditional accounting ratios and the sophisticated DEA methodology in the measurement of bank efficiency. GLS random effects two-variable regression tests for superiority using a risk index for insolvency suggest an advantage in favour of the DEA.
    Keywords: Bank efficiency; Jamaica; Accounting Ratios
    JEL: G21 G28 G29
    Date: 2009–11
  5. By: Tenovici , Cristina; Albici , Mihaela; Parpandel, Denisa Elena
    Abstract: Top level management has in view costs minimizing, so profit maximizing, so that costs adjustment seems to be a vital necessity when the activity developed within the company does not assure the maintenance and stability of the necessary relation between consuming factors and costs. In such circumstances, approaching differing sides of the production cost and improving the methods of calculation has much significance in determining the most appropriate measures necessary for its adjustment and for profit increasing. The whole informational process of costs – formation, control and analysis of costs – involves a careful use the methodological concepts known under the name of classical methods and modern or complementary methods, as well as of other proceedings. Such methods and proceedings cannot be applied separately, only conjugated and integrated in a unitary methodological system, each of these methods and proceedings participating at achieving one or more objectives. Only by their unitary action they can fulfill all the system objectives.
    Keywords: Cost; economic efficiency; decisions substantiation; traditional and modern methods for costs determining
    JEL: M41 D24
    Date: 2009–11–17

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