Accrual Noise Ratio as a Measure of Accrual Reliability
I develop an empirical model that estimates a firm-specific accrual noise ratio (ANR), an operational and statistically grounded measure of accrual reliability, and test the measure's construct validity. The model allows accrual reliability to vary across firms, which is particularly important because many reliability determinants vary in cross-section. Unlike metrics that measure relative perceived reliability, ANR measures accrual reliability independent of the perceptions of investors, creditors or auditors. I find that ANR relates in expected ways with multiple proxies of accounting reliability, that ANR's relation with the proxies of other accounting constructs is consistent with theory, and that ANR's sensitivity to percentage changes of accrual components is consistent with a subjective ordinal ranking of the components' reliability from prior literature.
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