We examined the effect of accounting comparability on the use of accrual earnings management (AEM) and real earnings management (REM) among five members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Analyzing 1,195 listed non-financial companies from 2014 to 2017, we find that more comparable accounting information between firms induces managers to engage in more REM and less AEM, supporting the substitute hypothesis. The results remain similar under the robustness tests. Our results suggest that reporting and legal environment factors may affect cost-benefit considerations versus incentives for using earnings management strategies.
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