Why do corporate managers misstate financial statements? The role of option compensation and other factors

Jap Efendi, Anup Srivastava, Edward P. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

457 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the incentives that led to the rash of restated financial statements at the end of the 1990s market bubble. We find that the likelihood of a misstated financial statement increases greatly when the CEO has very sizable holdings of in-the-money stock options. Misstatements are also more likely for firms that are constrained by an interest-coverage debt covenant, that raise new debt or equity capital, or that have a CEO who serves as board chair. Our results indicate that agency costs increased [Jensen, M.C., 2005a, Agency costs of overvalued equity. Financial Management 34, 5-19] as substantially overvalued equity caused managers to take actions to support the stock price.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-708
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agency theory
  • Executive compensation
  • Restatements
  • Stock options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management

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