Using a survey from 154 Italian accounting controllers, the paper examines the role of Top management pressure, moral disengagement and professional commitment on the decision to accept earnings manipulation. Based upon previous literature, two different kinds of earnings manipulations are considered, namely, accounting manipulations and operating manipulations. Empirical results suggest a strong relationship between earnings manipulation acceptance and earning manipulation pressure. Also, earnings management acceptance is predicted by two controller personal traits, namely, moral disengagement and professional commitment. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are finally discussed.
Keywords: Controller, earnings management pressure, earnings management acceptance, moral disengagement, professional commitment.
Jel Code: M10, M40, M41, M42