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Redovisningskvalitet & omställningsstöd - En studie om de statliga bidragens effekt på redovisningskvalitet under coronapandemin

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Title: Redovisningskvalitet & omställningsstöd - En studie om de statliga bidragens effekt på redovisningskvalitet under coronapandemin
Authors: Losman, Göran
Lundquist, Anna
Issue Date: 23-Aug-2021
Degree: Student essay
Series/Report no.: Redovisning
Keywords: resultatmanipulering
statliga ekonomiska stöd
modifierade Jonesmodellen
earnings management
accruals quality
government subsidies
modified Jones model
earnings quality
Abstract: Bakgrund och problemdiskussion: Kvaliteten på finansiell redovisning är avgörande för dess användbarhet. Det är därför av stor vikt att redovisningen på ett korrekt sätt återspeglar de underliggande transaktioner som utgör dess grund. Resultatmanipulering kan uppstå i olika sammanhang och anses leda till försämrad redovisningskvalitet. Tidigare studier indikerar att det finns samband mellan statliga interventioner och ökad resultatmanipulering. Under den pågående coronaviruspandemin har fle... more
Description: Introduction: The quality of financial reporting is imperative for its utility. It is therefore of great importance that accounting information reflect the underlying transactions in a correct manner. Earnings management, actions taken to steer financial information in a certain direction, is believed to have an adverse effect on the quality of financial reporting. Previous studies indicate that there is a connection between government interventions and an increase in earnings management. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government have introduced different subsidy schemes in order to mitigate the decline in revenues of Swedish companies. The revenue-based subsidies are issued based on reported income loss. Since the introduction of these subsidies, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority have received a number of reports regarding falsified or distorted financial information associated with applications for the subsidies. These cases imply that there might exist incentives among managers to report misleading financial information in order to receive or maximize government subsidies. Purpose of study: This study aims to explore the effect of government subsidies on the quality of financial reporting during COVID-19. Sampling and data collection: Hypothesis testing is performed on a sample of Swedish companies. The modified Jones model is applied for the purpose of measuring earnings management through an estimation of abnormal accruals. Results and conclusions: The results show no significant association between revenue-based subsidies and a decrease of the quality of financial reporting. The small sample size constitutes a limiting factor in the study. A larger sample size could possibly generate different results. Seeing as the research question is relevant to regulatory authorities as well as other stakeholders, the topic of the study should be further explored. Implications for further research: The result of the study implies a non-significant negative association between subsidies and a decrease in the quality of financial reporting. Even though this association is not significant, it constitutes a reason to further investigate this association on a larger scale.
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