This study explores the relationship between accounting conservatism and corporate governance. There are two competing perspectives about the possible relationship. One is that the demand for conservatism is greater in situations with more agency problems. Therefore, a weaker governance structure will lead to a more conservative accounting. An alternative perspective is that adequate governance results in better monitoring of management and hence will favor the implementation of conservative accounting. Using the firm-year specific C-Score developed by Khan and Watts [Khan, M., Watts, R.L., 2007. Estimation and validation of a firm-year measure of conservatism. Working Paper, Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge], our empirical results indicate that firms with weaker governance structures tend to be more conservative. These findings are consistent with the view that conservatism is a substitute for other corporate governance mechanisms.
Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics, 5(1), 47-59