Redovisningskvalitet & omställningsstöd - En studie om de statliga bidragens effekt på redovisningskvalitet under coronapandemin
Sammanfattning: Introduction: The quality of financial reporting is imperative for its utility. It is therefore ofgreat importance that accounting information reflect the underlying transactions in a correctmanner. Earnings management, actions taken to steer financial information in a certaindirection, is believed to have an adverse effect on the quality of financial reporting. Previousstudies indicate that there is a connection between government interventions and an increase inearnings management. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish governmenthave introduced different subsidy schemes in order to mitigate the decline in revenues ofSwedish companies. The revenue-based subsidies are issued based on reported income loss.Since the introduction of these subsidies, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority havereceived a number of reports regarding falsified or distorted financial information associatedwith applications for the subsidies. These cases imply that there might exist incentives amongmanagers to report misleading financial information in order to receive or maximizegovernment subsidies.Purpose of study: This study aims to explore the effect of government subsidies on the qualityof financial reporting during COVID-19.Sampling and data collection: Hypothesis testing is performed on a sample of Swedishcompanies. The modified Jones model is applied for the purpose of measuring earningsmanagement through an estimation of abnormal accruals.Results and conclusions: The results show no significant association between revenue-basedsubsidies and a decrease of the quality of financial reporting. The small sample size constitutesa 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 otherstakeholders, the topic of the study should be further explored.Implications for further research: The result of the study implies a non-significant negativeassociation between subsidies and a decrease in the quality of financial reporting. Even thoughthis association is not significant, it constitutes a reason to further investigate this associationon a larger scale.
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