Benford's law, small business financial reporting, and survival

Patel, Pankaj C. and Tsionas, Mike G. and Guedes, Maria João (2022) Benford's law, small business financial reporting, and survival. Managerial and Decision Economics. ISSN 0143-6570

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Abstract

Benford's law states that in collections of numbers, the leading digit is likely to be small. Drawing on this law, which is a widely used tool in forensic accounting, we ask whether small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that violate Benford's law on the reporting of key accounting items are more likely to fail. Using a sample of 220,583 Portuguese SMEs (2010–2018), those companies violating Benford's law in reporting cash had the highest odds of failure, followed by net income, current liabilities, assets, and sales. The findings indicate that myopic strategic manipulation in financial reporting may lead to SME failure.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Managerial and Decision Economics
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Patel, P. C., Tsionas, M. G., & Guedes, M. J. (2022). Benford's law, small business financial reporting, and survival. Managerial and Decision Economics, 1– 15. https://doi.org/10.1002/mde.3595 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mde.3595 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1405
Subjects:
ID Code:
168595
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Apr 2022 15:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 May 2022 02:51