Using 17,743 firm-year observations of industrial companies in 21 countries from 1991 to 1997, this paper finds that the use of accrual accounting (versus cash accounting) negatively affects the value relevance of financial statements in countries with weak shareholder protection. This negative effect, however, does not exist in countries with strong shareholder protection. These findings are consistent with the belief that shareholder protection improves the effectiveness of accrual accounting, and suggest the importance of considering shareholder protection when formulating accounting policies related to accruals.
Journal of Accounting and Economics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2000
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