Voluntary Management Earnings Forecasts and Discretionary Accruals: Evidence from Danish IPOs

Jeffrey Gramlich, Ole Vagn Sørensen

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This paper seeks to determine whether Danish managers exercise discretionary accruals to reach earnings forecast targets they voluntarily specify in conjunction with initial public offerings (IPOs). Because the Danish accounting and legal environment is more permissive than the US, we use Denmark as a natural laboratory for learning how business would occur without strict rules, enforcement and sanctions. Danish managers often volunteer pro forma financial statements for results that are expected to occur subsequent to the IPO. We examine a sample of 58 Danish firms that issue voluntary management earnings forecasts in connection with IPOs that occur between 1984 and 1996. The evidence we uncover strongly suggests that pre-managed earnings are adjusted toward these targets. In contrast with Kasznik's (1999 Kasznik, R. (1999). On the association between voluntary disclosure and earnings management. Journal of Accounting Research, 37: pp. 57–81
) results related to voluntarily forecasting American firms, managers of Danish firms exercise discretionary accruals to mitigate earnings forecast errors regardless of whether pre-managed earnings are less, or greater, than the IPO forecast amount.
TidsskriftEuropean Accounting Review
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)235-259
StatusUdgivet - 2004