Detecting Earnings Management

  • 15-weeks
  • 3 credits
  • Prerequisite: A540 or A504

Detecting Earnings Management is appropriate for MBA students with a serious interest in learning how to detect earnings management and developing techniques to adjust for earnings management, off-balance-sheet financing and hidden reserves. This course is highly recommended for students wishing to sit for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam.
A564 will provide students with the following opportunities:

  1. To review and reevaluate their understanding of generally accepted accounting principles.
  2. To consider how to adjust information provided in corporate financial statements to enhance the evaluation of the financial health of a firm. The White, Sondhi, and Fried text is used by analysts to prepare for the Chartered Financial Analysts Exam. We use this text for two reasons. For those of you planning to enter the accounting profession, we do this to help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the accounting numbers provided in corporate financial statements. As accountants and auditors, you will need to be able to detect the techniques used to manage earnings and hide debt and assets. For those planning to be analysts, WSF provides a wealth of information about the adjustments made by analysts prior to analyzing the firm’s financial health. These adjustments are necessary for three reasons:
    • Economic Substance: For various reasons, GAAP accounting numbers often do not accurately reflect the economic substance of the events.
    • Earnings Management: Many firms manipulate earnings and reported assets and liabilities. Adjustments are often helpful to “un-manage” earnings and to identify off-balance sheet financing and hidden reserves.
    • Comparability: Firms often use different accounting techniques to account for the same economic event. It is often helpful to made adjustments to improve the comparability of two firms.

Kelley School of Business

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