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본 연구는 자발적인 공시와 경영성과 측정지표와 관련한 우리 기업들의 재무보고 행태에 관한 연구이다. 본 연구에서는 재무정보를 생산하여 전달하는 역할을 담당하고 있는 한국 상장기업의 재무담당임원(Chief Financial Officer, CFO)들을 대상으로, 재무정보 공시와 관련된 경영자들의 인식과 성과보고에 영향을 미치는 여러 요인에 대한 설문조사를 시행하여 재무보고행태에 대한 좀 더 실제적이고 직접적인 설명과 해석을 얻고자 한다. 한국 상장기업 총 99개사에 속해 있는 116명의 CFO에 대한 설문조사 결과는 다음과 같다. 경영자들의 가장 큰 자발적 공시 유인은 투명하고 신뢰할 수 있는 재무보고로 기업의 명성을 제고하는 것이다. 반면 기업의 중요한 정보가 외부에 누설될 가능성이 자발적공시를 저해하는 주요 요인으로 나타났다. 경영자들은 악재보다는 호재를 더 빨리 공시하는 것으로 나타나 정보의 성격에 따른 비대칭적인 공시행태가 상존하고 있음을 확인하였다. 경영자들이 가장 중요한 성과측정지표로 인식하는 것은 영업이익이며, 분기보고에서는 전년도 동일분기 주당순이익이 가장 중요한 준거지표(benchmark)라고 인식하고 있다. 목표 이익을 달성하기 위해 비용지출을 감소시킬 가능성이 높게 나타나, 한국 기업에서의 실물 이익조정 가능성이 확인되었다. 기업들은 이익유연화를 선호하였으며, 안정적인 이익을 보고하기 위해 기업 가치를 희생할 의향이 상당히 있는 것으로 나타났다. 본 연구는 한국 상장사 CFO들의 재무보고정책과 관련된 유인 및 행태에 대한 직접적인 응답결과를 제시한 국내 최초의 광범위한 설문조사연구이다. 본 연구결과는 규제당국의 향후 정책 방향설정과 학계의 연구범위의 확장에 기여할 것이다.


We investigate firms' various incentives with respect to voluntary disclosure and performance measures (i.e., measures that represent the firm performance such as net income, operating income, cash flows, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, etc.) which can decrease information asymmetry in financial reporting for outside stakeholders and other capital market participants. Financial reporting and voluntary disclosures can help relieving information asymmetry and thus agency problems between insiders and outsiders. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays an important role in producing and delivering financial information to outsiders. As a result, it is very important to understand the motivations and behaviors of CFOs for financial reporting. For this purpose, we survey 116 CFOs of 99 listed companies in Korea to collect concrete explanations on the factors that are related to financial reporting and disclosure decisions. From the answers we collect, this study examines how the manager thinks and reports performance- related factors in the financial reporting and disclosures. Similar to this study, Graham et al. (2005) surveys and interviews about 400 CFOs in the U.S. extensively and examines the factors related to firms' financial reporting behaviors. The study of Graham et al. (2005) has great impact on accounting areas, revealing various facts related to financial reporting. The survey results are summarized as follows. CFOs responded that the most important reason for voluntary disclosure is to raise the firms' reputation for transparent and accurate financial reporting. In contrast, the risk of revealing proprietary information makes managers reluctant to disclose more information voluntarily. Regarding the timing of disclosure, good news are released faster to the public than bad news, showing asymmetric reporting behavior. Among various firm performance measures, CFOs perceive operating income to be the most important performance measure. In quarterly reports, earningsper share (EPS) of the same quarter last year is the most important earnings benchmark for a firm. The incentives to meet earnings benchmarks are to convey future growth prospects to investors, to maintain and increase stock price, and to build financial credibility. We find strong evidence to support real activities management in discretionary spending (R&D, advertising, ets.) rather than accrual- based earnings management. The results are robust indeed considering the limitations of survey. This issue is relatively important because CFOs are less likely to admit that they are manipulating earnings or real activities to meet earnings benchmarks. As a result, the fact that CFOs admit the possibility of manipulating real activities implies that the incentive is very strong in Korean settings. Managers prefer smooth pattern of earnings in many reasons identified in the previous studies, especially for being perceived as less risky by investors. CFOs are more likely to sacrifice firm value for smooth earnings, rather than to meet earnings benchmarks. CFOs admit that institutional and foreign investors as well as financial analysts are important price-setters in stock market. This study is the first and extensive survey conducted in Korea to elicit direct answers from CFOs to their incentives and behaviors related to financial reporting. Especially, the fact that CFOs regard operating income as the most important measure for performance is an important finding. Additionally, the finding that CFOs are likely to manage real activities to increase earnings is also important. These findings are useful to guide regulators to set up appropriate policies and monitor firms. This study also complements prior empirical-archival studies on earnings management and corporate financial reporting decisions. The findings suggest that Korean studies should focus on the real activities management more. In this way, we believe that this study can contribute to academics in various ways and can be used as basic foundation for various future researches.