Construal of self and Chinese accountants' aggressive financial reporting judgments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to respond to calls in the literature to examine personality variables which may provide sharper insights into accountants’ judgments in applying principles-based International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This paper contributes to the literature on the global convergence of financial reporting by examining the influence of an important personality variable, construal of self, on Chinese accountants’ aggressive financial reporting judgments. Design/methodology/approach – A between-subjects quasi-experiment was applied. In total, 122 Chinese professional accountants were categorized as either independents or interdependents, on the basis of their scores on construal of self scales. Subjects made their consolidation reporting judgments in the manipulated situations based on the financial performance of the investee entity, which refers to the situation where the investee entity makes a significant profit or a significant loss in the reporting period. Findings – Compared to interdependent accountants, independent accountants used the flexibility allowed in the principles-based standards to make more aggressive consolidation reporting judgments. Also, adoption of IFRS may not necessarily ensure consistent judgments even within China. Originality/value – This paper provides empirical evidence of the importance of construal of self in examining accountants’ aggressive judgments. The authors suggest that it may be premature to assume that adoption of IFRS will lead to comparable financial reporting. The findings are relevant to researchers who are interested in examining personality and cultural influences on accountants’ judgments both within and across countries. Companies and organizations may incorporate appropriate strategies to recruit and train independent and interdependent accountants, particularly by addressing the influence of construal of self on aggressive financial reporting judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1771-1795
Number of pages25
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • China
  • aggressive reporting judgement
  • consolidated financial reporting
  • construal of self

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