Qualitative audit materiality and earnings management

Qualitative audit materiality and earnings management This study investigates auditors’ propensity to rely on quantitative materiality thresholds to the exclusion of qualitative materiality thresholds. Specifically, we examine whether auditors are more likely to allow earnings management that is less than typical quantitative materiality thresholds but that nonetheless is qualitatively material. We use changes in tax expense as a proxy for earnings management. Our results indicate that companies with pre-managed earnings that would have missed the consensus analyst forecast are more likely to decrease their tax expense when the magnitude of the decrease is less than quantitative audit materiality thresholds. The results also indicate that firms are more likely to meet or beat the forecast when the amount of earnings management necessary to meet the analyst forecast is less than quantitative materiality. These results are consistent with auditors relying on quantitative materiality thresholds to the exclusion of qualitative materiality thresholds, i.e., the importance of meeting or beating the analyst forecast. Finally, we find that the ability to use tax expense reduction within quantitative materiality to meet or beat analysts’ consensus forecasts was significantly reduced by the SEC’s guidance on materiality in SAB-99 and by the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Qualitative audit materiality and earnings management

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Economics / Management Science; Accounting/Auditing; Finance/Investment/Banking; Public Finance & Economics
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


  • The rewards to meeting or beating earnings expectations
    Bartov, E; Givoly, D; Hayn, C

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial