How Accounting Employees’ Incentives Affect Financial Reporting Quality

An extensive body of literature that spans accounting, corporate finance, management, and other adjacent disciplines examines the relationship between senior executives’ contractual incentives (e.g., bonus plans, stock and option holdings) and various properties of their firms’ financial reporting and disclosures. The collective evidence that emerges from this vast literature is not only surprisingly mixed, but also largely neglects consideration of the contractual incentives of employees lower in the organizational hierarchy. This is a particularly conspicuous oversight since many of these subordinates (e.g., financial accountants, cost accountants, internal auditors, and other accounting and finance employees) have more direct access to, and … Read more