ABSTRACT: This study examines the impact of ERP systems on earnings management. We use the absolute value of discretionary accruals as a proxy for earnings management, comparing levels for 143 firms in 32 industry groups that implemented ERP systems between 1994 and 2003 to levels for a control group. We find that over a ten-year period surrounding the implementation date, ERP implementers show a significant decrease in the absolute value of total discretionary accruals, while the control group does not. We further find that short-term discretionary accruals are driving the results, while long-term discretionary accruals show no significant change for either group.

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