PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate whether income smoothing helps to reduce volatility in reported earnings and which firms are more inclined to be engaged in income smoothing.Design/methodology/approachThe authors used negative correlation between pre-managed earnings of a firm and its discretionary accruals (DAs) as proxy for income smoothing and the firms having more negative correlation coefficient are expected to have lower volatility in their reported earnings. The authors used Kothari et al.’s (2005) version of modified-Jones model to estimate DAs and used least squares estimations to investigate the research questions using six-year (2007-2012) sample of non-financial firms listed over Karachi Stock Exchange, Pakistan.FindingsThe authors found that firms experiencing more volatility in economic activities and smaller firms are more aggressively involved in income smoothing. Moreover, a predominant majority (72.2 per cent) of firms in the sample are involved in income smoothing through accruals manipulation. Also, the authors found that firms which are more aggressively involved in income smoothing have lesser volatility in reported earnings. Lastly, the level of DAs per se does not have any impact on income smoothing.Research limitations/implicationsThe proxy used for income smoothing, though the authors consider it to be better, is not the only one used in literature and the sample is limited to Pakistan.Originality/valueThis study adds to earnings management literature by providing evidence on extensive accrual manipulation for income smoothing in Pakistan.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 7, 2016