Simulation evidence on the properties of alternative measures of working capital accruals: new evidence from the UK

Javad Izadi Zadeh Darjezi, Homagni Choudhury, Alireza Nazarian

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the specification and power of tests based on the DD and modified DD model through the UK data between years 2000 and 2013, and make comparisons with tests using working capital accruals creating a measure of accruals quality as the standard deviation of the residuals value from firm-specific regressions base on working capital accruals on last, current and one-year-ahead cash flows from operations.

Design/methodology/approach: This study focuses both on the DD model and modified DD model to find out which of them can more accurately capture total working capital accrual estimation error and accrual quality. According to the DD model, the past, current and future net cash from operating activities as the three years’ operating cash inflows or outflows become omitted and correlated variables. In this study, the authors continue to document residuals from the DD and MDD models to demonstrate properties that are more consistent with behaviours of accruals estimation errors. Therefore, in this study, the authors are looking to compare the results from both the MDD and DD models and find which one of them is more effective in explaining the working capital accruals in the UK.

Findings: The authors find that adding additional explanatory variables may add additional explanatory power of variables to the DD model and extent to which accruals map into cash flow insights based on the UK data. This study is empirically well fitting with the internal workings of cash flows. As investors fixate only on the accounting earnings, they may fail to reflect fully on information contained within cash flow components and working capital accruals of current and future earnings.

Originality/value: The authors compare different equation to cover more items of working capital accruals. In addition, after examining earnings and accrual quality, the findings show that the average UK company behaviour was quite similar to the behaviour that was founded earlier for both models in the USA. Furthermore, this study results show that more volatility of sales, cash flow, accruals and earnings make a lower accrual quality. The results demonstrate that both models can capture the power to predict working capital accruals. Moreover, we find that adding additional explanatory variable of employee growth rate adds additional explanatory variables to DD model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-394
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting & Information Management
Volume25
Issue number4
Early online date2 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • cash flow
  • working capital accruals
  • modified DD model

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