FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING THEORY AND ANALYSIS: TEXT AND CASES 10TH EDITION RICHARD G. SCHROEDER MYRTLE W. CLARK JACK M. CATHEY Chapter 4 Research Methodology And Theories On The Uses Of Accounting Information Introduction To have a science is to have a recognized domain and a set of phenomena in that domain Theory describes the underlying reality of that domain through input (observations) and outputs (predictions) INPUTS OBSERVATIONS OUTPUTS PREDICTIONS Very little behavior is explained through existing accounting theory Theory vs theorizing Chapter introduces methods of developing theory and some theories on outcomes of providing accounting information Research Methodology Deductive approach Inductive approach Pragmatic Approach Scientific Method Other Deductive Approach Essentially an “armchair” approach Going from the general to the specific Begins with the establishment of objectives Next definitions and assumptions are stated A logical structure for accomplishing the objectives based on the definitions and assumptions is developed Attempts to “theorize are generally based on the deductive approach Validity of this approach lies in the researcher’s ability to relate components If researcher is in error, conclusions will also be erroneous Inductive Approach Making observations and drawing conclusions Generalizations are made about the universe based upon limited observations APB Statement No. 4 utilized the inductive approach Pragmatic Approach Based upon the concept of utility or usefulness When a problem is found… an attempt to find a solution is undertaken Most accounting theory was developed using this approach A Statement of Accounting Principles was a pragmatic approach The Scientific Method Involves the following steps: Draw a tentative conclusion Analyze and evaluate data Collect data necessary to test the hypotheses State the hypotheses to be tested Identify and state the problem to be studied Most accounting research found in academic journals uses the scientific method Other Research Approaches Ethical approach – Developed by DR Scott and involves the concepts of truth, justice and fairness Behavioral approach – The study of how accounting information affects the behavior of users The Outcomes of Providing Accounting Information Fundamental analysis The efficient market hypothesis The capital asset pricing model Normative vs positive accounting theory Agency theory Human information processing Critical perspective research Fundamental Analysis Investor decisions - Buy - Hold - Sell The goal of fundamental analysis Investment analysis The Efficient Market Hypothesis Holds that fundamental analysis is not a useful tool… because individual investors are not able to identify mispriced securities The Efficient Market Hypothesis Based on the free market supply and demand model with the following assumptions: – All economic units have complete knowledge of the economy – All goods and services are completely mobile – All buyers and sellers are so small in relation to total supply and demand that neither has an influence on supply or demand – No artificial restrictions on demand, supply or prices of goods and services The Supply and Demand Model Price Supply Demand Quantity The Supply and Demand Model Best illustrated in the securities market Information available from many sources including: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Published financial reports Quarterly earnings reports News reports Published competitor information Contract awardings Stockholder meetings The Efficient Market Hypothesis According to the supply and demand model, the price of a product is determined by knowledge of relevant information The securities market is viewed as efficient if it reflects all available information and reacts immediately to new information The Efficient Market Hypothesis The EMH indicates that an investor with a diversified portfolio cannot make an excess return by knowledge of available information There are three forms of the EMH which differ in respect to the definition of available information – Weak form – Semi-strong form – Strong form Weak Form An extension of the random walk theory in the financial management literature The historical price of a stock provides an unbiased estimated of its future price Consequently, an investor cannot make an excess return by knowledge of past prices This form of the EMH has been supported by several studies Semi-Strong Form All publicly available information including past prices is assumed to be incorporated into the determination of security prices An investor cannot make an excess return by knowledge of any publicly available information Implication is that the form of disclosure, whether in the financial statements, the footnotes, or financial press information is not important This form of the EMH has been generally supported in the literature Strong Form All available information, including insider information is immediately incorporated into the price of securities as soon as it is known leaving no room for excess returns Most available evidence suggest that this form of the EMH is not valid Challenges 2008 market crash Efficient Market Hypothesis: Implications Lack of uniformity in accounting principles may have allowed corporate managers to manipulate earnings and mislead investors. How are earnings and stock prices related? Do changes in accounting principles affect stock prices? The Capital Asset Pricing Model The goal of investors is to minimize risk and maximize returns. The rate of return on stock is calculated: Dividends + increases (or - decreases) in value Purchase Price The Capital Asset Pricing Model Risk: The possibility that actual returns will deviate from expected returns U. S. treasury bills A risk free investment Return on these investments is the risk free return Diversification Stocks can be combined into a portfolio that is less risky than any of the individual stocks The Capital Asset Pricing Model Types of risk are company specific and environmental Unsystematic risk The risk that is company specific and can be diversified away Systematic risk The nondiversifiable risk that is related to overall movements in the stock market Financial information about a firm can help determine the amount of systematic risk associated with a particular stock The Capital Asset Pricing Model Assumption is that investors are risk aversive and will demand higher returns for taking greater risks Beta (b) The measure of the relationship of a particular stock with the overall movement of the stock market viewed as a measure of volatility - a measure of risk Securities with higher bs offer greater returns than securities with relatively lower bs The Relationship Between Risk and Return Rs = R f + Rp Where: Rs = Expected return on a given risky security Rf = The risk free return rate Rp = The risk premium The Relationship Between Risk and Return Investors will not be compensated for bearing unsystematic risk since it can be diversified away The only relevant risk is systematic risk β = measure of the parallel relationship of a particular common stock with the overall trend in the stock market Stock’s sensitivity to market changes Measure of systematic risk Incorporating Risk Into the Equation β = :Rs = Rf + βs (Rm - Rf) Where: Rs = the stock’s expected return Rf = the risk-free return rate Rm = The expected market rate as a whole β = The stock’s beta calculated over some historical period Implications of CAPM A security’s price will not be impacted by unsystematic risk Securities with higher bs (higher risk) will be priced relatively lower than securities offering less risk Research has indicated that past bs are a good predictor of future stock prices Criticized because it causes managers to seek only safe investments Normative vs. Positive theory Normative theory – based upon a set of goals that its proponents maintain prescribe the ways things should be. Must be accepted by the entire universe to be useful Positive theory – attempts to explain observed phenomena One positive theory is termed agency theory Positive Theory Agency theory Based on economic theories of Prices Agency relationships Public choice Economic regulation Positive Theory Agency theory is based on the assumption that individuals act to maximize their own expected utilities. As a result the relevant question is: What is a particular individual’s expected benefit from a particular course of action? An agency is a consensual relationship between two parties whereby one agrees to act on behalf of the other Inherent in this theory is that there is a conflict of interest between the shareholders and the managers of a corporation Positive Theory Agency relationships involve costs to the principles 1 Monitoring expenditures by the principal 2 Bonding expenses by the agent 3 Residual loss Agency theory holds that all individuals will act to maximize their own utility Monitoring and bonding costs will be incurred as long as they are less than the residual loss Human Information Processing Annual reports provide vast amounts of information Disclosure of information is intended to help investors make buy - hold - sell decisions Human Information Processing HIP studies Studies attempting to assess an individual’s ability to use accounting information Results - individuals have limited ability to process large amounts of information Consequences: Selective perception Difficulty in making optimal decisions Sequential processing Implications - extensive disclosures now required may be having opposite effect Critical Perspectives Research Previous theories assumed that knowledge of facts can be gained by observation This area of research contests the view that knowledge of accounting is grounded in objective principles Belief in indeterminacy - the history of accounting is a complex web of economic, political and accidental consequences Critical Perspectives Research Accountants have been unduly influenced by utility based marginal economics that holds: Profit = efficiency in using scarce resources Conventional accounting theory equates normative and positive theory. What should be and what is are the same Critical Perspectives Research Critical perspective research concerns itself with the ways societies and institutions have emerged. Three assumptions: 1 Society has the potential to be what it isn’t 2 Human action can help this process 3 Critical theory can assist human action Accounting Research, Education and Practice How are research, education and practice related in most disciplines? For example, medicine? How are they related in accounting? Recent frauds have resulted in new schools of thought End of Chapter 4 Prepared by Kathryn Yarbrough, MBA Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of this work beyond that permitted in Section 117 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act without the express written consent of the copyright owner is unlawful. Request for further information should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 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