ABSTRACT: Relative to recording securitizations as collateralized borrowings, the “gain on sale” treatment has several accounting benefits such as reducing leverage, increasing earnings, and improving efficiency. We investigate whether managers engage in real transaction management to take advantages of these benefits. We predict that in order to maximize financial statement window‐dressing, managers will engage in securitizations toward the end of the quarter. We find that 41 percent of the quarter's transactions occur in the third month of the quarter and almost half of these occur in the last five days of the quarter. In addition, we show that when firms report securitization gains sufficient to beat earnings thresholds, the securitization transactions are more likely to have occurred in the last five days of the quarter. We also document that the impact of securitizations on leverage is large and material for many firms. Our results suggest that window‐dressing the financial statements appears to be a valuable side‐benefit of engaging in securitization transactions.

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