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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Accounting Quality: A Comprehensive Examination

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Author(s): Martijn Verleun | Georgios Georgakopoulos | Ioannis Sotiropoulos | Konstantinos Z. Vasileiou

Journal: International Journal of Economics and Finance
ISSN 1916-971X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This paper investigates the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act on the quality of financial statement information. Where other papers have only investigated the short-term effects of SOX, this paper takes a longer post-SOX period. A distinction is also made between technology and non-technology based firms. Earnings management, conservatism and value relevance measures were used in order to examine the impact of SOX on accounting quality. A significant increase was found on both the earnings management and value relevance measures, which was persistent over a four-year post-SOX period. On the contrary, a slight increase in conservatism was observed, however these results are not significant. Moreover, the technology based firms score worse on the earnings management measure, thus, the separate investigation between technology and non-technology based firms has revealed interesting information which would otherwise have stayed undetected. ti*co?m^?` lesser extent than the one believed. CDS spreads are associated with information already spread to the capital markets, and not vice versa, lessening the critique on rating agencies for rising CDS spreads. These findings are generally in line with those in other markets. 
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