The Association Between Internal Control Material Weakness And Real Earnings Manipulation
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentBusiness and Management
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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This study examines the association between internal control material weakness under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and real earnings manipulation. The results indicate that manufacturing firms reporting material weaknesses in internal control grant excessive price discounts to temporarily increase sales. They also overproduce to reduce the cost of goods sold, and reduce their discretionary expenses to enhance reported earnings. Another result that emerges from this study is that manufacturing firms in litigious industries are less likely to engage in real earnings manipulation. Segregating the sample into remediating and non-remediating firms, the results suggest that real earnings manipulation significantly attenuates when firms remediate their internal control material weaknesses. Furthermore, there is no significant difference in real earnings manipulation between firms with contained internal control material weaknesses and those with pervasive internal control material weaknesses.