Designing a Domain-specific Causal Model for Creative Accounting

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Accounting, Kashan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kashan, Iran.

2 Associate Prof., Department of Accounting, Bandargaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bandargaz, Iran.

3 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Kashan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kashan, Iran.



Objective: Creative accounting can be seen as a process that utilizes accounting knowledge to influence financial indices in information disclosure without violating policies and accounting rules and standards, leading to distortion of the information provided by the managers. This research sought to design and interpretatively evaluate the appearance contexts of creative accounting at the level of capital market companies.
Methods: The study employed a mixed research methodology, categorizing it as developmental research based on the obtained results. Concerning the objective, this research sought to prioritize research components at the level of capital market companies in terms of effectiveness by relying on an exploratory study and an interpretive rating matrix. The research approach in this study can be classified as a hybrid type due to the unique logic of data collection. It explores a phenomenon without a comprehensive framework in the theoretical areas of accounting at the level of capital market functions, where consensus on such a framework is lacking. Thus, it was initially tried to provide the dimensions of the creative accounting model in the form of a multidimensional model through analyzing the qualitative part by relying on the Grounded Theory method. To this end, Glazer's emergent approach was used to develop a creative accounting model by utilizing interviews made with experts during three stages of coding. The paper benefited from matrix checklists based on pairwise comparisons in the quantitative part. The target population in the qualitative part included 12 accounting professionals and university professors who were considered experts both scientifically and experimentally. In the qualitative methodology section, the snowball sampling method was employed for sample collection, involving theoretical sampling and methods for sample determination. However, the target population in the quantitative part included 20 financial managers of listed companies who were chosen based on work experience and level of technical and specialized knowledge through a homogeneous sampling method.
Results: The research results in the qualitative part identified three categories, six components, and 36 conceptual themes in the form of a six-dimensional model, which were obtained through the three stages of open coding, axial coding, and selective coding in the grounded theoretical analysis using the Glazer's approach. Also, the results in the quantitative part, by utilizing matrix ranking analysis, demonstrated that the influence percentage of the foresight weakness component of the basis of creative accounting is higher than the other components of creative accounting. This implies that the absence of professional perspectives in accounting enhances the probability of financial distortion through creative accounting.
Conclusion: The obtained results indicated the fact that the weakness of foresight in the field of accounting and realistic disclosure of information may lead to the enhanced shadow of creative accounting over the functional level of capital market companies and expand the context of emerging creative accounting. This area of accounting procedure does not benefit from sufficient philosophy and knowledge support, and this issue creates a distance between the cognitive functions of accounting and the main core, which aims to increase transparency and protect the rights of stakeholders. As a result, accurate evaluation of the functional realities of companies turns out to be unfeasible.


Main Subjects

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