Criminal employees and financial reporting

Date
2021
Authors
Seitz, Morten
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Abstract
The literature provides mounting evidence that top managers are associated with financial reporting outcomes. In this paper, I predict and find that traits of rank-and-file employees explain these outcomes. Controlling for the CEO’s criminal record, firms with more employees with criminal records (relative to other firms) have higher discretionary accruals when they raise new finance, report earnings that are less informative about future earnings and cash flows, and have lower accruals quality. I find some, although less robust, evidence that these firms are less likely to recognize timely losses. My results suggest that employees, incremental to top managers, are associated with firm outcomes.
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Keywords
Corporate culture, earnings management, employees, employee traits
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