Volume 8, Issue 1 (2019)
Internal Control Weakness and Managerial Myopia: Evidence from SOX Section 404 Disclosures
Amy E. Ji
Saint Joseph’s University
Problem/ Relevance: Managerial myopia is an important issue of interests to academics, practitioners, and regulators as managers have been condemned for their obsession with short-term earnings and myopic investment decisions that sacrifice firms’ long-term value for shareholders. This article contributes by examining whether the quality of firms’ internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) is associated with managerial myopia.
Research Objective/ Questions: The purpose of this study is to examine whether managers in firms reporting material internal control weaknesses (ICW) under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 engage in myopic behaviors more than those in firms without reporting ICW.
Methodology: The study uses the logit regression model to investigate a sample obtained from Compustat for the period of 2005-2013.
Major Findings: The study finds a positive association between internal control weaknesses reported by auditors under Section 404 of the SOX and managerial short-termism which is measured by the probability of cutting R&D expenses in the current year from the previous year.
Implications: Whereas prior studies mostly examine the impact of internal controls on accounting quality, this study demonstrates the implication of internal controls beyond financial reporting quality by showing an association between internal control quality and managerial myopia. Future research may further investigate the association between firms’ financial reporting quality and managerial investment decisions.
Keywords: internal control; internal control over financial reporting; internal control weakness; Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Section 404; managerial myopia; managerial short-termism