Creative Accounting Practices

Find and stop Creative Accounting

Accounting is one of the most crucial science in the business world. Accounting is always needed in the business, both small companies and large companies require their accounting procedures. With the lifetime of research of accounting, the financial bookkeeping easier plus more exact, and can determine the performance of the business. However, the truth is a lot of financial accounting that does not comply with the prevailing financial. This is really because the mistake of making the financial statements or any fraud devoted by certain parties.

In doing the planning of financial claims, an accountant are required to follow the rules which exist in financial reporting, which is in accordance with the rules appropriate accounting benchmarks. However, the truth is many companies that creatively manipulating financial data to obtain a good response from some. This is called creative accounting. Creative accounting is little or nothing new in the wonderful world of accounting, because many companies are doing it.

Creative accounting by some circles is known as unethical for manipulating data. However, creative accounting because of the positive accounting theory, all the creative accounting will not contradict to the concepts of accounting generally suitable no subject who should be disputed.

Many factors may cause companies use creative accounting to maintain the company's life midsection of very strong competition today. Therefore we need creative ways in financial accounting in the business world, though it is often considered the less moral. The truth is based on the thoughts and opinions of Brass et. al. (1998) which expresses that unethical tendencies is triggered by two major factors, namely the average person factors and organizational factors. Individual factors for example consists of locus of control and moral cognitive development. While such organizational factors consist of organizational climate, payment systems, codes of conduct and norms.

Definition of Creative Accounting

Experts define creative accounting as a task of manipulating financial data on companies. Etymologically, what of creative accounting contain two words, namely creative of skill this means it someone invents a new idea that works well, and an accounting term which means the bookkeeping about financial occurrences are always aiming to faithful representation of financial occasions. Creative accounting by Amat, Blake and Dowd (1999) is a process where some of the parties to work with the power of understanding includes understanding of accounting expectations, the techniques used by the business and utilize it to control financial reporting. While, Stolowy and Breton (2000) called creative accounting is an integral part of the accounting manipulation, which consists of income management, income smoothing and creative accounting itself.

So that the meaning of creative accounting this is the root of a number of accounting scandals, and many proposals for accounting reform usually centers around an updated analysis of capital and production factors that really will reflect the way the added value. Creative accounting and income management is a euphemism discussing the accounting tactics that could follow the notice of the rules of standard accounting techniques, but evidently deviated from the heart of the legislation.

Elements of Creative Accounting

According to Charles W. Mulford and Eugene E. Comiskey Creative Accounting split into several elements, specifically
  1. Recognizing Premature or Fictitious Revenue

Recognizes income premature or fictitious income differs if the terms of extreme accounting. For early revenue, popularity is relative to GAAP. Meanwhile, for the fictitious income, income is saved in the absence of sales that happened.

The condition of the premature revenue acceptance of sales can be carried out when the products are already booked, but is not sent or the products have been shipped, however, not yet booked. In the meantime, types of fictitious sales are backdated invoices, delivery particular date modified, or intentionally bogus record sales.

  1. Aggressive Capitalization & Extended Amortization Policies

In an aggressive capitalization policy, the business reported expenditure or loss for the year as assets. As a result, the price of admission is delayed and increased earnings. Furthermore, resources or deferred charge is amortized over many years.

  1. Misreported Possessions & Liabilities

In many instances, the worthiness of overvalued resources and / or liabilities undervalued with the purpose of earning ability is higher and more robust financial position. With a higher profit, automatically retained earnings and equity value will surge.

Some potential advantage accounts are reported overvalued accounts receivable, inventory, purchases (that are categorized as trading, presented to maturity or available for purchase). Liability account which recorded undervalued them are accrued expense payable, accounts payable, taxes liabilities, and contingent liabilities.

  1. Getting Creative with the Income Statement

The game the volumes in the income statement occurs at speeding up or slowing down the acknowledgement of revenues and expenses. In cases like this the profit is defined for a few of the reporting period.

In addition, the demonstration of the statement may be either single-step or step allows the business plays subtotal volumes, classification of accounts, financial statements and notes. For example, elements of business income reported as income beyond business or elsewhere, expenses included in cost of sales in the group reclassified to functioning expense accounts or complete opposite. Thus reclassification of course will impact the sub total gross profit or operating income postscript is often used as a way to obtain information for decision making.

Other examples are included in the accounting creativity in the income declaration occurs in
  • The group accounts of expense / income are often in the netting. The business only reported a total of price / income without elaborating the details of the profile group. An example is a study conducted by the overall Accounting Office (GAO) United States indicate the occurrence of some types of creative accounting. The results of the analysis as quoted Stalebrink and Sacco (2007) found evidence that the US Department of Defense intentionally abusing accounting key points to switch the salary expenditure for the next reporting period in order to satisfy the mandate of the budget that has been set. The usage of terminology in the income assertion, as the word is the restructuring that turned out to cost restructuring included the elimination of inventory, severance obligations and the cost of layoffs, elimination of resources, relocation expenditures and advantage impairment charges.
  • Determining the level of materiality of your transaction. With the idea of materiality, companies can categorize trades are actually material becomes immaterial.
  1. Problems with Cash-flow Reporting

As previously detailed in the Show Price Effect, buyers are considering companies which may have a good earning ability and ecological. Thus, future cash flow is usually to be good anyhow. For the collectors, with good cash flow, money to be even.

It has turned into a common thing that the web cashflow from operating activities is a manifestation of operating income in the income assertion. The net income is becoming the primary measuring tool on the company's ability to gain a sustainable cashflow.

In the reporting of cash flows in accordance with GAAP, cash flow is split into cash flows from operating activities, financing activities and investing activities. Type of presentation of cash flow statement consists of the indirect method and direct method. Within the indirect method, cash flows from operating activities are computed from net gain modified for non-cash orders in the income declaration. Meanwhile, the immediate method cashflow from operating activities is shown predicated on cash transactions in income.

In practice, cashflow from operating activities is only known by some users of financial assertions, but is as yet not known by the traders and creditors. Both these stakeholders to focus more on financial performance. As a result, they have a tendency to assume that the cash flow declaration is correct. Actually, cash flow declaration, specifically the operating cash flow, is also of creative accounting.

Causes and style of Creative Accounting

Stolowy and Breton (2000) called creative accounting is an integral part of the accounting manipulation, which includes earnings management, income smoothing and creative accounting itself. In this particular knowledge of the creative accounting that does not suggest accountants who use the accounting understanding, but the parties who have a pastime and the energy to use creative accounting, such as professionals, accountants, federal, industry associations, etc. Things that because creative accounting is because of the policy of the business that caused a lot of the management of data manipulation to be able to gain a far more specifically the supervisor of the business. The supervisor reacted to the financial reporting by Watts and Zimmerman (1986) are grouped into three hypotheses that the founder positive theory still assumed sensible creative accounting, specifically
  1. Bonus plan hypothesis

Healy (1985) in Scott (1997) claim that managers often respond based on the extra will be honored. If the benefit is awarded rely upon the profits which will be generated, then the manager can do 'creative accounting' to increase earnings or reduce income to be reported. The owner usually sets a floor under the most little profit in order to receive the bonus. In the pattern of this bonus director will raise revenue up to above the minimum level earlier. If the owner of the business making top of the limit to receive the bonus, then your supervisor will seek to reduce the top limit earlier earnings and current income copy to future durations. This he did because if income past the upper limit of the manager is not getting an extra incentive for his or her efforts to produce a earnings above the limit set by the owners of the business.

Formula bonus offer used Healy based on the assumption that the business consists of professionals who associated risk averse so the director will choose discretionary accrual to lower earnings as revenue before decisions accrual smaller than bogey (lower limit) or exceeding the cover (upper limit) to raise earnings as earnings before decision accrual exceeds bogey but does not exceed the cover. Implications proposed by Healy is the fact that managers will react within an opportunistic face intertemporal choice.

  1. Debt-covenant hypothesis

Research in neuro-scientific positive accounting theory also talks about the accounting techniques regarding how managers address your debt agreement. Managers in dealing with any violation of the loan contract has matured, will attempt to avoid it by selecting accounting regulations that gain themselves. Fields, Lys and Vincent (2001) suggests there are two occurrences in selecting accounting regulations, which at the time of holding the debt contract and the maturity of debts. Contract long-term debt (debt covenants) an arrangement to protect the lender from the actions of the administrator against the pursuits of collectors, such as abnormal dividend, or let the equity is below a predetermined level. More and more likely a corporation to violate personal debt covenants then your manager will tend to choose accounting methods to copy the upcoming earnings period to the present period since it can decrease the risk of default. Sweeney (1994) in Scott (1997) implies the tendencies of 'moving' the income made by the troubled company which threatened individual bankruptcy and a technique for success.

  1. Political-cost hypothesis.

In the view of agency theory, large companies will disclose more info than smaller companies. Great company to do so so that they can reduce the price of the agency. Large companies face greater political cost because it is an entity that lots of highlighted by the public in general. The employees concerned saw profit go up as a mention of improve their welfare through salary increases. The government views rise in corporate and business profits as subject to tax which will be charged. So the choice experienced by the organization is in what way through the accounting process so that revenue can be shown lower. It is often called the political cost hypothesis (W and Zimmerman: 1986).

Various sorts of habits performed in the platform of creative accounting by Scott (1997) as follows
  1. Taking Bath

Taking Bath, also called big bath tub. This pattern can occur for no organizational pressure at the flip of the new management is to recognize failing or deficit because the old management and new management wanted to avoid such failures. This technique can also recognize the costs in future intervals and the loss of the existing period when the plight of the unfortunate who can not be avoided in today's period. Subsequently, the management do the cleaning themselves by charging the price estimations to come and do clear the decks. Because of this, the next period profits will be greater than it ought to be.

Example is relating Vinnari and N'Asi (2008) mentions that creative accounting in cases like this is much more likely to lead to the designed use of the accounting for financial reviews "misleading" users so as to preclude the user to attain the purpose of the utilization of such financial statements. Once a common form used is to bring a wide variety of fictitious transactions for the purpose of manipulating the total amount of the total amount sheet or the purpose of transferring profits between accounting intervals.

  1. Income minimization

It is similar to 'taking bathtub' but less extreme. This pattern was made during the company's success is very high with the intent that does not get noticed by the celebrations concerned (politics aspects of cost). Measures considered by the write-off may be on capital and intangible property, the imposition of advertising costs, costs of research and development, Initiatives successful options for the petroleum companies etc. The deletion is performed when the other techniques still show the operating results still appears to attract interested people. The purpose of this deletion is to achieve an interest rate of go back on possessions is desired.

  1. Income maximization

Maximization of revenue for the intended purpose of obtaining a bigger benefit, which reported revenue remained below the upper limit set.

  1. Income smoothing

Income smoothing is typically the most popular and frequently performed. The companies do this to reduce the volatility of net income. The Company may also flatten net income for the exterior reporting with the objective of the business's interior information delivery to the market in predicting long-term income growth.

  1. The timing of income and charge recognition

This technique can be done by making a specific policy with regard to time or timing of a transaction such as the premature popularity on the sales.

How to Detect and Prevent Accounting Scam in Creative Accounting Practices

Creative accounting has undesirable implications for the company, either the owner of the company and investors who want to invest in to the company. There are several methods and techniques can to discover creative accounting and preventing it.

Fraudulent financial reporting in an organization is usually to be a big impact on those who bottom part their decisions on the information in the financial claims. Therefore, open public accountant can prevent and find it early on to avoid fraudulence. To determine the existence of fraud, usually indicated by the onset of symptoms by means of red flags of fraud signals, such as unethical patterns management. Red flag is usually always must be appear in every circumstance of fraud is happening.

Mulford and Comiskey (2002) wrote a journal related to creative accounting, entitled "The Financial Statistics Game: Discovering Creative Accounting Practices". The book although more targeted for traders as understanding how to know quickly the accounting scams, but keep in mind also by the auditor.

Some of the qualities that can be used to discover any threat of deceptive financial reporting within the company, amongst others
  1. There are weaknesses in inner control (interior control).
  2. The Company does not have an audit committee.
  3. There is a kinship (family marriage) between your management (director) with company employees.
Classification of Creative Accounting Practices according Mulfrod & Comiskey, comprising
  1. Recognition of fictitious revenue
  2. Aggressive Capitalization & Extended Amortization Policies
  3. misreported Investments and Liabilities
  4. Creative with the Income Statement).
  5. Problems with Cash-Flow Reporting

According to a written report from the National Percentage on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, avoidance and early recognition on fraudulent financial reporting should get started while preparing financial claims.

Rezaee (2002), in his journal, entitled "Financial Statement Fraud: Avoidance and Diagnosis", discusses deep enough on ways to prevent and identify fraud in the financial assertions. In the e book described the case of the collapse of Enron in the United States, which is horrendous business community clearly and completely, including the lifestyle of collusion.

Creative accounting is often done by internal parties in the company not only to change existing data but also to save lots of their company. However, there may be one factor that led to manipulate the data were made by firms to obtain a positive response from several people and advantages both for interior party companies and to the general public.

Cheating manipulate the data is in many ways to detect preventing it. It could be done by assessing the existing data is the fact that existing and check scams can be diagnosed and prevented. So how creative accounting is not abused by Certain parties for opening advantages not only for the success of the business and the shareholders of the company.


  1. Amat, Blake and Dowd. 1999. The Ethics of Creative Accounting. Economics Working Newspaper.
  2. Brass, Daniel J. , Kenneth D. Buterfield. , dan Bruce C. Skaggs. 1998. Relationship and Unethical Action: A SOCIAL NETWORKING Perspective. Academic and Management Review, Vol. 23 No. 1, 14-31.
  3. Charles W Mulford, Eugene E Comiskey. 2002. The Financial Amounts Game. Cambridge: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  4. Fields, T. H, Lys, Thomas Z. , Vincent, Linda. 2001. "Empirical Research on Accounting Choice". Journal of Accounting and Economics, 31, 255-307
  5. Healy, P. M. 1985. THE RESULT of Bonus Schemes on Accounting Decisions. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 7: 85-107.
  6. Mulford, Charles and Eugene Comiskey. 2002. The Financial Numbers Game Detecting Creative Accounting Theory. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  7. Rezaee, Zabihollah. 2002. FINANCIAL RECORD Prevention and Recognition. John Wiley &sons, Inc.
  8. Scott, William R. 1997. Financial Accounting Theory, 2nd Edition, Canada Inc. , Prentices Hall
  9. Stalebrink, Odd J. , and John F. Sacco. 2007. Rationalization of financial record fraud in authorities: An Austrian perspective. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 18 (2007) 489-507
  10. Stolowy, Herv, and Gatan Breton. 2000. AN ASSESSMENT of Research on Accounts Manipulation. European Accounting Connection: 23rd Total annual Congress.
  11. Sweeney, A. P. 1994. Debt Covenant Violations and Professionals Accounting Responses. Journal of Accounting and Economics 1
  12. Vinnari, Eija M. , and Salme N'asi. 2008. Creative Accrual Accounting In The

    Public Sector: 'Milking' Drinking water Resources To Balance And Municipal Budgets

    Accounts. Financial Accountability and Management, 24 (2), May, 0267-4424

  13. Watts, R, L. , and Zimmerman, J, L. 1986, Positive Accounting Theory. New York, Prentice Hall.

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