Audit Quality and Earnings Manipulations in Nigeria: Beneish Model

Abstract

The significance to prepare reliable information discloses the need to fall back on an external auditor and a quality auditing process that can caution against the management of earnings. In line with the business practice, auditing does not provide sufficient coverage for some earnings management (EM) activities that result in financial statement fraud. Over the years, capital markets around the globe have witnessed numerous corporate financial scandals largely because of financial and accounting figures’ manipulation. This has led to casting doubt on the quality of published financial reports and questioning the ability of the audit process. Against this background, this study examined the relationship between audit quality and real earnings management of listed manufacturing companies in Nigeria. Specifically, this study evaluated the effect of audit firm size, audit firm industry specialization, audit firm tenure, and audit firm independence on real earnings management. The study sampled 38 out of 55 listed manufacturing companies that cut-across different sectors from 2013 to 2020. From the multivariate analysis, the findings revealed a significant relationship between audit quality (audit firm size and audit firm independence) with a p-value of 0.014 and 0.003 respectively. It was concluded that firms audited by Big-4 firms with independence attract greater publicity and tighter scrutiny; hence, companies tend to desist from managing their earnings. The study, therefore, recommended that the management of manufacturing firms in Nigeria should persist in engaging experience audit firms with international affiliations, and they should work strictly with the CAMA, 2020 as amended by rotating audit firms after every three years as this will promote the reliability of financial statement prepared by management, and finally reduce manipulation of earnings.

 

Keywords: Audit Firms, Audit Quality, Earnings Management, firm independence, manipulations

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37745/ejaafr.2013/vol10n6pp5673<

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 56-73 (Download PDF)

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