This paper examines the relationship between the ownership control status of firms and the accounting methods they adopt. The arguments of Watts and Zimmerman's positive theory are integrated with those of managerial economists to generate the prediction that management controlled firms are more likely than owner controlled firms to adopt accounting methods which increase reported earnings. This prediction is inconsistent with Fama's hypothesis that the market for managerial talent will prevent management controlled firms from acting differently than owner controlled firms. This paper compares the depreciation methods used by a sample of management and owner controlled firms for financial reporting purposes. The comparison considers and controls for the factors of firm size, leverage, and the depreciation method used for tax reporting purposes. The comparison reveals that there is a significant difference in the depreciation methods adopted by management controlled and owner controlled firms for financial reporting purposes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics