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Empirically Analyzing the "Five Percent Rule of Materiality" in Financial Reporting Decisions

Empirically Analyzing the Five Percent Rule of Materiality in Financial Reporting Decisions

This study analyzes a sample of financial restatements from 2011 and 2012 as a way to assess a proposed “five percent rule of materiality” for financial reporting decisions. Such a rule claims the average investor is only influenced by income restatements greater than five percent. Market reactions are observed through stock price, volume, and bid-ask spread following the restatement in the Form 10-K/A. The study finds only some firms restating net income by more than five percent experience statistically significant reactions in two of these metrics.

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