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This paper aims to examine whether conditional conservatism is affected by chief financial officer (CFO) attributes as this issue is understudied in Malaysia. Given that CFOs have a direct responsibility for financial reporting, therefore, their individual attributes are important in influencing conservatism in financial reporting.Design/methodology/approachThis study uses non-financial listed firms in the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia from the years 2016 until 2019.FindingsThe results show that CFOs’ attributes, namely, gender, age, education level and ethnicity, affect earnings conservatism. To test for robustness, the authors use difference-in-difference, propensity score-matching and unconditional conservatism, namely, market-to-book ratio and the authors find the results hold with an exception for age and education level. Further, the effect of these attributes is more profound in non-Big4 audited firms, suggesting that CFO attributes act as a substitute mechanism for lower audit quality.Originality/valueThis study complements existing studies by documenting the first evidence on the significant effects of CFOs’ attributes in influencing accounting conservatism in an emerging country, namely, Malaysia. This is the first paper, to the humble knowledge, that examines CFOs’ attributes on accounting conservatism in Malaysia.
Pacific Accounting Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 17, 2021
Keywords: Malaysia; Conditional conservatism; Accounting conservatism; Unconditional conservatism; CFO attributes
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