Rounding-up in reported EPS, behavioral thresholds, and earnings management
Date of Issue2003
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Reported earnings per share (EPS) are frequently rounded to the nearest cent. This paper provides evidence that firms manipulate earnings so that they can round-up and report one more cent of EPS. Specifically, we examine the digit immediately right of the decimal in the calculated EPS number expressed in cents. Evidence is presented that firms are more likely to round-up when managers ex ante expect rounding-up to meet analysts’ forecasts, report positive profits, or sustain recent performance. Further investigation provides evidence that working capital accruals are used to round-up EPS.
Journal of accounting and economics
© 2003 Elsevier B.V. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier B.V. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0165-4101(02)00096-4 ].