La calidad de la información contable en las empresas familiares y no familiares en España
ColaboratorPeñalva Acedo, Fernando; Martínez Costa, Carme; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Organització d'Empreses
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
Some of the accounting scandals that have taken place in major companies throughout the world have forced the need to analyze in detail the quality of the accounting information submitted by companies. Enron, Parlamat or Pescanova are clear examples of poor quality accounting information, which has confirmed the importance of transparency and confidence in the information sent to the markets. On the other hand, family firms have acquired great relevance in the academic world recently, especially in countries in which these types of companies represent a high percentage of the total number of businesses, as is the case of Spain, where family firms represent more than 85% of the total. Given the importance of both disciplines (the quality of accounting information and family firms), this thesis has as its primary objective the analysis of the quality of accounting information in Spanish firms, including both family and non family businesses. It is well known that the family entity of a firm gives the company a set of features that makes it different from the non-family one. This is the reason we analyze them separately. Following similar approaches used to measure the quality of accounting information this thesis is primarily based on the existence of earnings management practices. However, even if earnings management has been treated in numerous studies recently, it has nearly always been analyzed exclusively from an accounting point of view (what is called accounting earnings management, defined as the one that affects accounting variables but not cash flows). Besides this one, real earnings management emerges when managers take operational decisions (real decisions) to achieve specific goals. This type of earnings management has been very little studied to date. This work also compares the results obtained in the previous analyses with two other metrics commonly used in this type of research: conservatism and the quality of accruals. Financial statement data for a sample of 850 listed and non-listed Spanish companies with almost 6,000 observations during the period 2003¿2011 were collected from the SABI database. In addition to the inclusion of non-listed companies in the sample, one of the main features of this work is the methodology adopted for the identification of family and non-family firms. While the vast majority of studies published to date have used the level of insider ownership concentration to classify family and non-family firms, this thesis is based on the analysis of the owners¿ surnames and those of other decision-making managers within the companies. The results reveal that listed family firms convey financial information of lower quality compared to their non-family peers, due the use accounting earnings management practices. However, we find opposite evidence if the founding family has higher ownership concentration or if the CEO is a family member. Non-listed family firms tend to engage in less accounting earnings management practices and, therefore, its financial information is of better quality. The empirical results also show that on average, founding family ownership and family CEOs are associated with higher earnings quality, booth in listed and in non-listed Spanish firms. On the other side, we document evidence that Spanish family firms incur in fewer real earnings management practices compared to the non-family ones. Furthermore, family ownership is negatively associated with real earnings management, both in listed and in non-listed firms. Finally, it seems that founding family ownership and family CEOs are associated with lower demand for conservatism in Spanish family firms.
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