This paper extends the work of Sloan (1996. The Accounting Review 71, 289) by linking accrual reliability to earnings persistence. We construct a model showing that less reliable accruals lead to lower earnings persistence. We then develop a comprehensive balance sheet categorization of accruals and rate each category according to the reliability of the underlying accruals. Empirical tests generally confirm that less reliable accruals lead to lower earnings persistence and that investors do not fully anticipate the lower earnings persistence, leading to significant security mispricing. These results suggest that there are significant costs associated with incorporating less reliable accrual information in financial statements.
Journal of Accounting and Economics – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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