Earnings Management and Cross Listing: Are Reconciled Earnings Comparable to Us Earnings?
We compare the characteristics of US GAAP earnings for US firms with reconciled earnings for non-US firms cross listing on US markets. We find that the reconciled earnings for non-US firms differ systematically from US GAAP earnings for US firms, and are characterized by more evidence of smoothing, a greater tendency to manage earnings towards a target, a lower association with share price and less timely recognition of losses. Further, splitting by country of domicile, earnings for firms from countries with relatively weak local investor protection environments show more evidence of earnings management, suggesting that institutional features of the local environment find their way into US GAAP-reported earnings. Our evidence suggests that, even though cross-listed firms operate under the regulatory authority of the SEC and follow nominally similar accounting standards, their reconciled accounting data show more evidence of earnings management than data prepared by US firms.
cross listing, ADR, international accounting, bonding
SMU Cox: Accounting (Topic)