The purpose of the present work was to gauge the extent of the impact on earnings management derived from the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 15 as well as detecting whether the impact will be similar in different industries. To provide empirical evidence that earnings management is more frequent in some industries and less frequent in others by means of a statistical analysis, a sample of Italian listed companies in the period 2001-2017 was observed. Specifically, companies belonging to two sectors were selected: “Telecommunications” and “Utilities”. The Jones Model was applied. The statistical analysis brought to light that earnings management practices are “commonly adopted” in the “Telecommunications” industry, which is consequently highly impacted by the introduction of IFRS 15. That being said, the lesson learned from this study is that the implementation of the new principle, written to discipline the accountancy of revenues, and its consequences, must be carefully analyzed and monitored by the regulators, as well as correctly adopted by managers, as the determined revenues could have an impact on the pre-existing earning management practices. The scientific contribution of the present research also concerns the predictions on the behavior of managers that can be foreseen considering the agency theory; therefore, knowing ex-ante in which industries earnings management has a high impact, provides the option to foresee the hypothetical moves of the managers in the implementation of IFRS 15.
Key words: earnings management, discretionary accruals, IFRS 15, telecommunications, utilities.
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