Analysing Corporate governance and accounting information quality

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As a company system, corporate governance refers to the adoption of a package of formal or informal, internal or external system or mechanism to coordinate with all stakeholders between the interests of relations, in order to ensure the scientific nature of corporate decision-making, and ultimately to safeguard the interests of the Company (Weian, 2001). Accounting as "the language of today's corporate governance structure" (Jeol Seligman, 1993), mainly reflected the effects of corporate governance mechanism and its basic goal is to provide an enabling information users to its decision-making, reliable, relevant accounting information. The level of quality of accounting information from the company's governance practices.

(A) the quality of accounting information is the cornerstone of corporate governance on corporate governance information from the disclosure requirements, enterprises should provide information that can be divided into three parts, namely: financial and accounting information, audit information and non-financial accounting information, in which financial accounting information is listed as the world focus on corporate governance, information disclosure, which is mainly used to evaluate the company's profitability and operating conditions and guess the future business prospects for resolving the accounting information users and providers of information asymmetry between the to the main method, which directly determines the quality level of efficient capital markets, the extent and efficiency of the allocation of social resources. And "corporate governance structure is a kind of industrial and commercial companies to govern and control system of systems" (1), its direct impact on the soundness of the listed companies and the securities market to develop healthily. Quality of accounting information of listed companies and corporate governance structure closely related to two-way interaction. High-quality accounting information is the company internal and external governance mechanisms effective operation of the foundation, the world's first study of a Corporate Governance Report "Report of the financial aspects of corporate governance" (The Cadcury Report) with the emergence of corporate governance and accounting information has a direct links, reason is that issues affecting the quality of accounting information to shareholders and other stakeholders in decision-making, in order to achieve an effective corporate governance, the report concludes that a true and fair view of financial accounting information are essential. Practice has also confirmed that the level of quality of accounting information is directly related to the success or failure of corporate governance. High-quality accounting information is to monitor the company's strong assurance that the shareholders have the ability to exercise the right to vote. Securities mature countries experience has shown that quality of accounting information is to influence corporate behavior and protect the interests of potential investors a powerful tool. High-quality accounting information will help to attract funds to maintain investor confidence in capital markets. Shareholders and potential investors need to be regular, reliable, comparable, and sufficiently specific information, enabling them to respond to managers to assess the competence level, and assess the value of the stock on the holding and voting to make informed the decision-making. There is no doubt, high-quality accounting information will also help improve the management level of the incentive mechanism, inhibition of "internal control" to help the capital market on the company's control, to help the public understand the company's organizational structure and business activities.

(B) standardized and effective corporate governance environment of high-quality accounting information in corporate governance structure to ensure the formation and operation of the process, the disclosure of accounting information play an important role; Similarly, the effective corporate governance structure also helps accounting information of listed companies quality improvement. As mentioned above, the owner of the business operations, governance and performance monitoring and control of a set of institutional arrangements, known as the corporate governance structure. Financial accounting in the arrangement of this system to act as information providers and supervision of the important role of governance, is the owner of the operator to control the main tool. Financial accounting and corporate governance structure is the relationship between the system and the relationship between the environment, the system should be coordinated with the environment in order to help the system meet the goals. Therefore, the corporate governance structure of the system environment to a large extent will affect the quality of accounting information. Such as Dechow et al (1996) found that, if the total of all the directors within the higher the proportion of directors or the company's chairman and general manager of the same person or company does not have an audit committee, the company's more likely a result of violations of GAAP by the SEC and the penalties . In addition, the corporate governance theory of transparency also requires high-quality financial information disclosure. In corporate governance theory, the extraordinary emphasis on "transparency." Transparency, there are three points: (1) openness; (2) accounting standards; (3) compliance reports. These three requirements, can be said for information disclosure, while the quality of the information would constitute a constraint on corporate governance. Because a subject of accounting in a clear ownership and control of the assets, obligations, commitments made at the same time, it must be the principal corporate property and clear distinction between financial revenues and expenditures, the owner of personal property and financial revenue and expenditure clearly distinguished. In this way, with accounting recognition, measurement, recording and reporting functions to identify the different interests, which will reveal a clear property rights, in order to establish an effective corporate governance structure to create the conditions. On the contrary, does not sound corporate governance structure for corporate governance activities is difficult to provide proper guidance and discipline, which has high-quality accounting information. Widespread domestic and foreign enterprises accounting information distortion, may be able to identify a number of reasons, but confirmed the fact that such a reason, namely: inadequate corporate governance is a major source of all problems, there is defective corporate governance, accounting information can not guarantee that high quality. Not difficult to see from the above analysis, accounting, information systems and corporate governance has a natural contact (2): corporate governance mechanisms are effective in order to ensure the reliability of accounting information and relevance; while the reliability of accounting information and relevance of corporate governance basic conditions. Sound corporate governance structure to encourage high-quality accounting information, and adoption of the practice of the main reward, the market generally available on the quality of accounting information, its quality should be able to very satisfied; and adequate disclosure of information and effective mechanisms for the contribute to good corporate governance structures.

2, different modes of corporate governance standards of quality of accounting information and analytical framework of the accounting information as the corporate governance of this set of institutional arrangements, an important mechanism in the role of corporate governance is mainly reflected in two aspects: First, decision-making, second, lease enforcement. Different modes of corporate governance played a major role in the accounting are different, have different preferences on the qualitative characteristics of accounting information.

Anglo-American corporate governance model: the relevance of accounting information quality standards is a typical Anglo-American corporate governance, external control-oriented model of corporate governance. In this mode, the dispersed shareholders can not exert effective influence in corporate decision-making, enabling stakeholders outside the company had to make decision-useful financial reporting has a tendency to try to achieve them through the stock market decisions. They will use various ways of accounting standards setting body has adversely affected, they will develop a strong independent audit in order to limit the company's accounting statements prepared residual control. The result is that the decision-making relevance of accounting information quality objectives to develop, lease enforcement, contribute to a measure of the reliability of quality objectives will be restricted. Such as the American Council of the Society of Certified Public Accountants in 1996's "Improving Business Reporting - focus on the user" more emphasis on the relevance of the information and make it a main theme throughout the report, while the reliability of the contents of only two paragraphs. Emphasis on the reliability of the relevance of the idea of light is bound to lead to contracts such as the role of the independent Anglo-American countries, tax accounting and financial accounting is separate; dividends relative to profits have more flexible dividend of profits is not necessarily a certain multiplier; management personnel more complex calculation of wages, in addition to the basic wage, there are stock options, stock appreciation rights, performance shares and other forms, making it difficult to operate through direct manipulation of the profit was paid. Although the technical and cost constraints, taxes, dividends and wages can not be completely divorced from the calculation of the financial report provided by the digital information, but the trend is separated, this separation of accounting information for decision-making highlights the relevance of its objectives the establishment of a foundation for . We can see that Anglo-American corporate governance model of the long-term development so that the decision-making relevance of accounting information quality objectives have become increasingly prominent, relevant subject of great concern. The crucial point of shareholders as the company owner, emphasizing the interests of shareholders first, as a basis for evaluation of the quality of accounting information organization, standards and methods and the Anglo-American market characteristics, corporate governance standards complement each other, correlation in the Anglo-American countries have been attached great importance to It is admired and its supreme interests of shareholders consistent with the principles.

2. German-Japanese corporate governance model: the reliability of accounting information quality standards of German and Japanese corporate governance is the internal control-oriented model of corporate governance. In this mode, the banks as the major shareholder of the internal governance structure through the direct involvement of corporate governance. Because they are "insiders", they do not like the information needed to stakeholders outside the company to wait until the end of the year as the company released annual report to learn about its financial position, operating results and cash flows, they are readily available from cases of Bank's board of directors or the internal layer of governance to obtain the required information. Therefore, the operator stands ready to provide the accounting is necessary to carry out fiduciary duties of information, external stakeholders in decision-making needs are often not taken seriously, corporate governance, external governance in particular, rely less on accounting information, accounting and the independence of the lower, as the various interests of such party preferred result of the integration is naturally decorated profits, which in turn inevitably reduces the relevance of accounting information in decision-making, allowing the shareholders outside the company can not use accounting information to corporate governance to curb the capital market in corporate governance role. Naturally, the qualitative characteristics of accounting information has become even more emphasis on the reliability of accounting information, namely, the authenticity and verifiability of information, which is reflected with its fiduciary duties, emphasizing reveals managers associated with the past performance. Stressed that the reliability of accounting information quality is the theory of stakeholders the results of an alternative theory of shareholder supremacy. According to assume the risks and enjoy the remainder of remaining consistent with the principles of control, relevant stakeholders should indeed share the residual rights of control. Business as a stakeholder of the contract, the company's board of directors should be seen as tangible and intangible assets of the trustees, whose duty is to make the value of the company's assets are protected and continue to growth and equity among the different stakeholders are unevenly distributed, that the trustee should not only take into account the interests of existing shareholders, and should balance the present and future interests of stakeholders. In this context, the reliability requirements of accounting information quality will become an inevitable choice.

3. The convergence of corporate governance brought about the integration of qualitative characteristics of accounting information is worth noting that, from the 20th century, since the 80's, there are indications that corporate governance model is different from each other towards convergence, economic globalization and fierce market competition to speed up this convergence. Then, the convergence of corporate governance will bring about accounting information of what kind of impact? In the United States and Britain, the main purpose of accounting information is to satisfy the company's external stakeholders in decision-making needs of institutional investors are increasingly expanding and stability to strengthen internal governance to be necessary, the reliability of accounting information and contractual re-examine the implementation of the role, " Sarbanes-Oxley Act "clearly put forward the table the request of the reliability of accounting information," the company in accordance with securities laws by improving the accuracy and reliability of the disclosure to protect investors, and for other purposes "(3). As early as in 1996, "Improving business reporting - focus on the user" in, AAA for the most impact on the reliability of measurement based on the user's opinion rejected by the current value in order to replace the historical cost; deny create their own goodwill and other intangible assets recognized problem; of the corporate reporting should be included in speculative financial statements, inventory valuation and depreciation of fixed assets should be reduced by alternative methods, argued that the report did not support the views held. Can be seen that the quality of accounting information under the Anglo-American model is not blindly emphasis on relevance, but the basic guarantee reliability down to improve the relevance of the premise. Meanwhile, the German-Japanese model of the gradual strengthening of the external governance, external information needs of people began to receive attention, prompting the inevitable objective of financial reporting by the lease to the decision-making related to the implementation of transformation, especially the European Union asked the European Union by 2005, within the scope of all listed companies the adoption of international accounting standards, financial reporting, and international accounting standards, it is the policy embodied in useful ideas, emphasizing the relevance of accounting information, it is easy sure, the German-Japanese model qualitative characteristics of accounting information of concern to the relevance of the conversion just around the corner. Mode of international convergence of corporate governance will bring about the relevance and reliability of accounting information integration (4). Attention to reliability is the essence of financial accounting (reflecting economic reality) of the decision, and it is the United States and listed companies in China in recent years, financial fraud cases give us lessons. While not related to the information useless, useless, but not for everyone. Without reliable information is more dangerous, all the user's decision-making will be misled by it and thus bring about unpredictable risks and losses.

Third, improve corporate governance, innovation accounting reveals that to achieve quality of accounting information relevance and reliability of the coordinated development in our view, the quality of accounting information relevance and reliability of convergence is the future of accounting information quality standards for the inevitable choice, then how to achieve this integration and coordination of development? There has been much discussion in the accounting, such as the construction of improved accounting standards system to improve the existing financial reporting system, strengthen the building of the accounting team to improve the quality of the accounting profession, etc., this paper will not repeat them. We mainly on improving corporate governance and improve the accounting model put forward to achieve this integration of a number of crucial measures.

1. From the perspective of stakeholders in the governance structure and improving corporate governance, stakeholders in the governance (5) to the Board of Trustees as the trustee of all stakeholders, not just the shareholders of the sense of unilateral control agent, its responsibility is to enable enterprises to protect the value of the capital and to achieve continuous growth and makes the business results of the various stakeholders are unevenly distributed, which makes the protection of the interests of stakeholders more effectively. Such as Germany in 1976 the "common-Determination Act" explicitly stipulates that the board of supervisors must have a certain proportion of worker representatives, trade unions the right to the highest authority in the company and shareholders in the proportion of the same Japanese company law with the operator-led governance structure to balance the shareholders and the employees interests and to encourage workers to participate. Yang Rui (2002) considered that the residual claims and control rights among stakeholders in the rational allocation of shared governance is the precondition, so that all stakeholders co-governance requires not only reflected in the company total control, but also reflected in the Enterprise residual claim-sharing. China's corporate governance structure by the existence of various economic, cultural, institutional and other problems brought about, while in the traditional principal-agent problem within the framework of theoretical analysis has not been resolved, so we believe that our corporate governance structure of governance failure, but also ensure that accounting information the quality of one way is to introduce the company's stakeholders in the company's co-governance.

In the framework of co-governance model, using the camera control mechanism (6) to serve as creditors in corporate governance, the role is to enhance the quality of accounting information of the important part. At this point, we can learn from Japan in countries such as France and Germany, the main bank system, you can also learn from the United States through "syndicated" approach to achieve corporate direct, partial and short-term control. Through a clear debt contract the rights of creditors, the transfer of control of the camera system and the company's board of directors, the board of supervisors to attract participation of creditors in corporate governance, etc. (7) to enable the creditors as a stakeholder interests are protected. When the creditor's position in corporate governance confirmed their legitimate rights and interests are effectively protected, the entire society, capital flows will form a virtuous cycle of social transaction costs, will greatly save, the entire social credit system will reach a whole new level , which guarantees a number of high-quality accounting information is an important environmental conditions.

2. To make incentive and constraint-compatible incentive compensation contract theory study results show that, due to information asymmetry, other interest groups are unsure of the actions made by management personnel. Management staff as a rational economic man, but also will inevitably pursue their own utility maximization. An Empirical Study of the West of accounting policy choices also show that can not use "mandatory contracts (forcing contract)" to force the management in selecting the principal desired course of action, but only through the incentive contract to induce control in selecting the principal hope. To make governance disclose client relevant and reliable accounting information in order to achieve the client's expected utility function the most, then the agent must choose to meet the participation constraint and incentive compatibility constraint of the incentive contract. In reality, the vast majority of incentive contract to meet the monotony: the remuneration of management personnel with the increase of corporate profits, that is incentive contract only with the profits associated with the operation of an enterprise does not take into account the environment-related exogenous variables (such as: money supply, Another corporate profits, etc.), allowing an agent should bear the risk is definitely greater than when the incentive contract should also rely on exogenous variables in the profit and the agent should bear the risk, intuitively speaking, that the agent wrongly punished and wrong incentives have become less likely. In addition, because of information asymmetry, the principal to the agent's behavior can not be observed in order to allow agents to take some risks in order to stimulate their hard work, should work hard to achieve the balance between incentives and risk. Thus, according to the theoretical design and confirmed that, as well as practice tests at home and abroad, you can come to one conclusion: one take into account both short-term operating performance and given the long-term operating results incentive contracts are optimal. For businesses, one from the "basic salary" "bonus" (mainly determined by annual performance) "equity incentive" (including stock and options, depending on the long-term performance) as the core component of the Manager's Motivation "formula" can be effective in reducing principal-agent problem of adverse effects. At the same time, if the client and the manager of the contractual relationship between the long-term (one on better contract can be the manager's interests and the client's long-term interests "bundling" together), then the manager and principal-agent between the client relations will be a multi-stage dynamic game relationship, even if no explicit incentive contracts, "time" itself may solve the problem. In the long-term game process, on the one hand, according to Law of Large Numbers, exogenous uncertainty can be removed, a client can be accurately corresponding to the variable from the observed agent's effort level inferred, which agents can not be used "lazy" and the deceptive ways to improve their welfare; the other hand, through long-term contract to provide insurance agents approach, clients can also remove the risk of an agent. Furthermore, even if the contract does not have the legal enforceability, out of "reputation effect" considerations, the principal and agent will take the initiative to comply with the contract.

3. Form an effective accounting information needs of the main body, increasing the pressure on the supply of information the role of accounting information is that companies can reduce the decision-making process of stakeholders face uncertainty so as to achieve improved decision-making effectiveness of the promotion of social benefits or reduce flow of resources to achieve social welfare maximization. Therefore, in essence, the formation of the quality of accounting information by external stakeholders - customers demand quality and internal stakeholders - the governing authorities of the supply of quality after repeated game, the process of achieving a balance of interests, but also demand for accounting information quality and supply of quality two-way process of approximation. In theory, supply and demand of accounting information as the identity of opposites, they are together in the process of interaction determines the quality of accounting information, the demand as a checks and balances, to the formation of the quality to play its due role in the process of , you must have the following elements: the formation of a strong market-oriented needs of groups, the formation of smooth, convenient and efficient information feedback mechanism, rational information acquisition costs and compensation, as well as the supply of appropriate quality. Powerful information needs groups can put forward the views of information needs, and through appropriate channels of information affect the supply of both the disclosure. At present, China has not yet formed, but the real market demand for the main body of accounting information, the lack of an effective supervision of the quality of accounting information needs of the power supply, which forced the accounting profession and the practice theory of community is faced with the growing proliferation of accounting information distortion, had to rely more on in the production process control and government regulation to govern information distortion, but can not effectively use market forces to contend with. Thus, ensuring the quality of accounting information provided by the demand of the main priority is to nurture and improve the level of information needs, the establishment of information feedback channel, increasing the demand on the supply of the reaction information from the source to control the quality of accounting information; the same time, this is easily done , because with the selfish nature of stakeholders, in order to maximize their own interests, will naturally require accounting information available on the market a reliable, relevant, will take initiative to improve the quality of information requests, monitoring the supply side information disclosure act, which will be conducive to facilitating information supply side to improve the quality of accounting information supplied.

4. Stakeholder accounting supervision system of corporate accounting oversight mechanisms to build a modern corporate governance structure, an important part of the one hand, to sustain a corporate governance structure of mutual checks and balances in the relationship, promoting the formation of the upper and lower internal communication and coordination of the force left; the other hand, can ensure the reliability of corporate disclosure of accounting information and relevance, to maximize the protection of the interests of stakeholders. From a global perspective, accounting supervision mainly in the following two modes (8), namely the Audit Committee as the center of the Anglo-American model and to the board of supervisors as the center of the German-Japanese model. Moreover, China's accounting supervision system is to further deepen the reform on the basis of established, including the board of supervisors, inspectors and special systems, Chief Financial Officer Appointment System and the independent director system (including its consists of the Audit Committee), the former three kinds of accounting supervision mode patterns can be grouped together as the board of supervisors, after years of practice proved that the monitoring mode due to the unreasonable ownership structure, laws and regulations and related systems of corporate governance mechanisms (in particular, external governance mechanisms) are not in place standards and guidance for reasons such as not successful. The Audit Committee is still a new phenomenon in our country, our country was founded for the purpose of the Audit Committee, responsibilities, effectiveness and internal governance Zequan Li among the various mechanisms of coordination and other issues, we need in future studies by the empirical evidence to support. In the accounting supervision mode of selection, we can see from the aforementioned German-Japanese model and the formation of Anglo-American model has its own far-reaching economic, legal and political and cultural background. We believe that the current environment, the Supervisory Board and the Audit Committee in parallel mode as China's Public Company Accounting Oversight mode option. Supervisory Board and the Audit Committee of the combination can to some extent compensate for deficiencies in the system, which is a kind of complementary relationship. In the supervisory functions of the segment, we believe that: the Audit Committee should be based on all the major decisions of the board of directors and scientific oversight of the fairness-based, specifically: such as asset allocation, foreign investment, asset restructuring, property rights, mergers and acquisitions, corporate development strategies basis for major decisions such as the decision-making, decision content, decision-making process, decision-making risks and benefits, decision-making related-party transactions to prevent, managers in decision-making results and their implementation by the manager's interests and preferences of the level of interference, etc., monitor, review and evaluation. For the Supervisory Board, its oversight responsibilities, should have put the focus from China's "Company Law" given to the inspection company's financial, supervisory board standardized operation, to comply with the principles of information disclosure, monitoring the legality of the economic activities of the directors and managers, as well as supervision of general meeting of shareholders approved After the major decisions of the board of directors and other aspects of the implementation process. For the implementation of the Board of Trustees for decision-making assessment results and their degree of deviation, by the Board of Supervisors with the Audit Committee and the external assessment body to conduct joint assessments and their corresponding ex-post evaluation report.

5. Innovation accounting information reveals that to achieve relevance and reliability of the common principle of taking into account the cost-effectiveness due to the constraints of traditional accounting is difficult to meet the user's individual needs, the reason for the financial accounting has been unable to complete early and produce market, mainly due to limited to the high market transaction costs and did not result in the production of accounting information can make to enjoy economies of scale of the new technologies. However, the power of modern information technology has made clear that this limitation will no longer become only the minimum amount of information an excuse. And modern information technology development and application of market-oriented accounting information for the material and technological foundation laid. In this case, the establishment of a wide range of accounting channels (Xue Yun-kui, 1998), to meet the different needs of users of information will become a necessity, accounting and information systems to adapt to new market-oriented reconstruction of the social environment will also become the choice of history . The so-called accounting channels, refers to accounting information of the consumer right to choose in the making now has the right to consume or not consume, he also has a new two rights: (1) The requirements, according to the consumer other than the minimum standard of accounting information rights; (2) in a number of media companies to choose between competing rights. If you say the same attributes of information is difficult to meet the reliability and relevance of the requirements of the dual quality characteristics, then, while providing information on two different properties diversified model may not have the same difficulties. Network Accounting feature, eliminating the isolation between the various enterprise information, while greatly enhanced the timeliness of information, on the other Queshi greatly reduced the cost of providing information. The development of information technology used for a variety of measurement modes provide a solid technical backing, which makes the coexistence of different measurement basis, the same data, the coexistence of different treatment methods have become possible.

In addition, the accounting issues can also be used to build the accounting information systems. Sauter, Professor in 1966 in the preparation of the "basic accounting theory," a book that "the task of financial and accounting staff to provide only a matter of information, and allows users to apply their choice on matters of information", according to its point of view, due to a single historical cost measurement does not reflect the unique dynamics of the economic environment and uncertainty, it is often inconsistent with economic reality, while the coexistence of multiple measurement attributes the lack of comparability, and through a single financial reporting system provides the accounting information is difficult to satisfy all the different users of accounting information the decision-making needs, then why not the main economic activity of enterprises matters to investors, will be based on these fundamental issues the task of accounting information generated transferred to the investors (individual investors how to generate accounting information, how to use accounting information that investors do their own ), in order to better information processing and use of information to achieve consistency and avoid the disclosure of accounting information of enterprises not related to endless accusations. In other words, if companies can not affect the company's business secrets business activities of enterprises under the basic data and related information is passed to the investors, not only inhibited the asymmetric information problem, but also by investors according to their own decision-making types of accounting of information generation and use, it can be a good solution to different investors with different needs of accounting information, so that relevance and reliability to coordinated development.

Finally, the high degree of attention to speculative and forward-looking information that reveals, but also the coordination of accounting information relevance and reliability of an important part. In fact, with goodwill, derivative financial instruments and other problems, reveal the structure of accounting information must be challenged. For this reason, in 1998 Association of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, "so that valuable corporate reporting", American Accounting Association in the "Basic Accounting Theory" and the accounting literature, the historical data on the speculation business as a future earnings, liquidity and results-based governance such issues are not fully made a strong criticism. 1978 SEC to develop "operating results reveal guess Guide" and "protection of safe harbor rules of speculation," the United States Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) promulgated a corresponding "financial speculation Accounting Standards" (1985) and "Guide to speculate on the financial statements" (1986) In addition, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (1987), the International Accounting Standards Board (1989), the United Kingdom Auditing Practices Board (1990), and so issued a document on financial speculation. Our country is also in December 1996 issued by the Securities will continue a "public offering of shares the company's content and format of information disclosure," a series of documents on speculation that the nature of profits, suggesting that regulation on speculation that the range of data, speculation based on speculation that period, the guess description of assumptions and speculation notes etc. were provided. But how in the annual financial report to increase speculation that reveals sex and forward-looking information or a full scale reconstruction of the existing financial reporting system problems, there is no a systematic and comprehensive provisions. Of course, in the provisions of speculative forward-looking information revealed, we must also establish a sound institutional environment-related, such as the establishment of an effective system of financial speculation, improve the normative system, and strengthen supervision and management, establish a sound internal financial information to guess the quality security system, give full play to certified public accountants in ensuring the quality of financial information to guess the role.