Re-Defining "Materiality": An Exercise to Restore Ethical Financial Reporting

Govind Iyer, Stacey Whitecotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper uses a survey and experimental case methodology to examine whether financial statement users/stakeholders agree with the underlying assumptions of SAB 99, a staff bulletin issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to numerous high-profile cases of abusive earnings management practices by major corporations. SAB 99 lists several qualitative factors that should render an otherwise quantitatively immaterial item to be material in nature. Results of the survey and the experimental case studies confirm that both current and prospective members of management (as well as current audit seniors) are in general agreement with the materiality guidelines put forth in SAB 99.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-83
Number of pages35
JournalAdvances in Accounting
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting


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