Accounting Fraud at Worldcom

390 Words2 Pages
(1) Earning Management According to Ronsner (2003), earning management is defined as a management technique that can let managers achieve their outcomes by influencing the financial statements. These actions will mislead some stakeholders’ opinion about the company’s underlying economic performance; Also, earning management can influence the contractual outcomes which come from accounting numbers (Healy and Whalen, 1999). In Worldcom case, CFO Sullivan use accounting entries to reach targeted performance, this improper earning management tried to conceal the real economic value and performance of Woldcom from the stakeholders who will use the financial statements. (2) Motivations of earning management The reason of earning management is to affect financial statements’ users’ understanding about the company’s economic performance or influence the outcomes which depend on the reported accounting numbers (Lin, Radhakrishnan & Su, 2006) Firstly, one of the most important motivations of earning management is Managers’ career concerns. Because earning management allows managers to reach their desired outcomes by influencing firm’s financial statements. According to Graham, Harvey and Rajgopal (2005), it is acceptable for senior mangers to use earning management so that they can provide positive and steady earning growth for the firm. In addition, the reputation of a CFO or CEO depends on whether the company they manage has a good prediction of future earnings. The labor market will regard a CFO as a “managerial failure” if the CFO perceive inability to reach the earnings target. In this case, the managers were encouraged to do their best and spend whether it was necessary to bring revenue. Secondly, stock price is another incentive for managers to manage earnings. The market concerns about earning benchmarks. Some negative earnings news always
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