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  • 1.
    Bergström, Clas
    et al.
    Finance Department Stockholm School of Economics.
    Eisenberg, Theodore
    Henry Allen Mark Professor of Law Cornell Law School Myron Taylor Hall Ithaca NY, USA.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Stockholm School of Economics Cornell Law School, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration Sweden.
    On the design of efficient priority rules for secured creditors: empirical evidence from a change in law2004In: European Journal of Law and Economics, ISSN 0929-1261, E-ISSN 1572-9990, Vol. 18, no 3, 273-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article assesses the effect of a reduction in secured creditor priority on distributions and administrative costs in liquidating bankruptcy cases by reporting the first empirical study of the effect of a priority change. Priority reform had redistributive effects in liquidating bankruptcy. As expected, average payments to general unsecured creditors were significantly higher after the reform than before the reform and payments to secured creditors decreased. Reform did not increase the size of the pie to be distributed in bankruptcy. Nor did it increase the direct costs of bankruptcy.

  • 2. Bergström, Clas
    et al.
    Eisenberg, Theodore
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Secured debt and the likelihood of reorganization2002In: International Review of Law and Economics, ISSN 0144-8188, Vol. 21, no 4, 359-372 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Theory suggests that secured creditors may increasingly oppose a debtor's reorganization as the value of their collateral approaches the amount of their claims. If reorganization occurs and the value of the firm appreciates, the secured creditor receives only part of the gain. But if the firm's value depreciates, the secured creditor bears all of the cost. Secured claimants, thus, often have more to lose than to gain in reorganizations. This study of Finnish reorganizations filed in districts that account for most of the country's reorganizations finds that creditor groups most likely to be well-secured are most likely to oppose reorganization. We also find a negative correlation between how well-secured banks and other institutional lenders are and the likelihood of a confirmed reorganization plan. Limiting the priority of secured debt might stimulate reorganizations.

  • 3. Bergström, Clas
    et al.
    Eisenberg, Theodore
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Wells, Martin T.
    The fate of firms: Explaining Mergers and Bankruptcies2005In: Journal of Empirical Legal studies, ISSN 1740-1453, Vol. 2, no 1, 49-85 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using a uniquely complete data set of more than 50,000 observations of approximately 16,000 corporations, we test theories that seek to explain which firms become merger targets and which firms go bankrupt. We find that merger activity is much greater during prosperous periods than during recessions. In bad economic times, firms in industries with high bankruptcy rates are less likely to file for bankruptcy than they are in better years, supporting the market illiquidity arguments made by Shleifer and Vishny (1992). At the firm level, we find that, among poorly performing firms, the likelihood of merger increases with poorer performance, but among better performing firms, the relation is reversed and chances of merger increase with better performance. Such a changing relation has not been detected in prior merger studies. We also find that low-growth, resource-rich firms are prime acquisition targets and that firms’ debt capacity relates negatively to the likelihood of a merger. Debt-related variables, leverage and secured debt, play an especially prominent role in distinguishing between which firms merge and which firms go bankrupt.

  • 4.
    Franck, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Den upplevda nyttan med intern kontroll: En studie av svenska noterade bolag2010In: Ekonomiska samfundets tidskrift, ISSN 0013-3183, E-ISSN 2323-1378, Vol. 63, no 2, 81-93 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present results from a survey about the internal control in 97 swedish publicly traded companies. the results show that 2/3 of the companies have increased their investments on internal control during the period studied. In questions about the benefits with internal control, the highest fraction of the respondents agreed with the statement that internal control investments has reduced the likelihood that the financial statements will include errors, and that auditors to a greater extent can trust the internal control. 68 percent of the companies agreed with the statement that they will further improve the internal controls during coming years.

  • 5.
    Franck, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Determinants of internal governance quality: evidence from Sweden2012In: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735, Vol. 27, no 7, 639-665 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess whether ownership concentration, leverage and demand for equity financing is associated with internal corporate governance quality. The paper focuses on dimensions of governance quality that are related to financial reporting quality.

    Design/methodology/approach – The authors measure internal governance quality by an indicator variable that takes on higher values depending on whether a company has an audit committee, has a sufficient number of audit committee meetings during the year, has financial expertise on the audit committee, has an internal auditing function, a risk management function, a code of conduct and whistle blower provisions in the code of conduct. The sample consists of 91 Swedish listed companies of which 39 companies had to follow the Swedish Corporate Governance Code. The development of hypotheses is based on agency theory. Ordered logistic regressions are used to test the hypotheses.

    Findings – The paper finds a strong negative association between leverage and the internal governance quality score for companies that do not have to follow the Corporate Governance Code. The paper also finds a positive association between the governance quality score and dispersed ownership among companies that have to follow the code.

    Research limitations/implications – The negative association between leverage and governance quality is opposite to the typical agency theory prediction. A number of other studies have also documented negative or insignificant associations with leverage in related settings. The research suggests there is a demand to develop theories related to leverage and the implementation of governance characteristics beyond the typical agency theory based predictions.

    Practical implications – The results raise the question whether lenders more actively directly or indirectly should influence the governance quality of borrowers.

    Originality/value – Based on the conjecture that governance quality increases with the number of governance elements, the paper studies a governance score that is built up by several elements of good corporate governance. Furthermore, the authors study a setting dominated by voluntary choices of governance quality, which makes it possible to study supply effects.

  • 6. Knechel, Robert
    et al.
    Niemi, Lasse
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Determinants of Auditor Choice: Evidence from a Small Client Market2008In: International Journal of Auditing, ISSN 1099-1123, Vol. 12, no 1, 65-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyzes the auditor choices for a sample of 2,333 predominantly small and mid-sized Finnish firms. Finland requires virtually all commercial enterprises to have a financial statement audit, but allows the smallest firms to choose from four types of audit firms: first tier international firms, first tier national firms, second tier local auditors and non-certified auditors. We find that among the smallest firms, the choice to hire a certified auditor relates to the level of complexity in the organization as measured by size and extent of workforce. For firms that must use a certified auditor, we find that the choice between a first tier and second tier firm is related to size, the extent of debt financing, and complexity associated with being a member of an associated group. Finally, in the upper end of the market, the decision to hire a large international firm relates to size, the need for financing, be it equity or debt, and complexity due to a broad labour force. This pattern is interesting because it indicates that the need for a higher quality auditor is driven first by complexity, then as the firm grows, it is supplemented by the use of debt financing and ultimately by the need to raise equity as well as debt financing.

  • 7.
    Niemi, Lasse
    et al.
    Aalto University.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Are modified audit opinions related to the availability of credit?: evidence from finnish SMEs2012In: The European Accounting Review, ISSN 0963-8180, E-ISSN 1468-4497, Vol. 21, no 4, 767-796 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We study the association between credit availability and modified audit opinions using a sample of more than 50,000 observations for small- and medium-sized companies. Studies in finance suggest that companies use trade-credit as a source of financing when institutional debt is not available (e.g. Petersen and Rajan, 1994; Danielsson and Scott, 2004). Building on these studies, we study whether modified audit opinions are associated with an increased use of trade credit relative to bank debt. We find no association between modified audit opinions and our measure of credit rationing. Our archival evidence focusing on SMEs is contrary to much of the earlier research finding that modified audit opinions provide incremental information for lenders. Our study adds to the scarce literature on the role of audit reports as a source of information in SME finance.

  • 8.
    Nilsson, Stellan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Henrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Internationell redovisning, teori och praxis2009 (ed. 2)Book (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Book review of "Behind closed doors - What company audit is really about"2008In: International Journal of Accounting, ISSN 0020-7063, Vol. 43, no 2, 214-216 p.Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Earnings Management in Public and Private Companies: Evidence from Finland2007In: Finnish Journal of Business Economics, ISSN 0024-3469, no 1, 35-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper studies earnings management in public and private companies and whether earnings management is a function of leverage. A matched sample with 99 public and 99 private Finnish companies is used.

    Earnings management is difficult to measure and several different approaches are used to identify earnings management. Firstly, following several prior studies, discretionary accruals, the ratio of small profits to small losses, the variation in earnings in relation to the variation in cash flows and the correlation between the change in earnings and the change in cash flows are used as measures of earnings management. Secondly, a number of specific accruals are studied, namely the depreciation, the amortization of goodwill and the recognition of impairment losses. Thirdly, whether companies use the timing of assets sales and other gains reported as a non-operating income as a way to manage earnings is studied.

    The main findings are as follows: contrary to studies of U.K and U.S. data, this paper finds no significant differences in the accounting choice/earnings management measures between public and private companies. Furthermore, some of the measures used indicate that highly leveraged companies are more likely to use income increasing accounting methods than companies with a low leverage. However, the impact of leverage on accounting choices does not differ significantly between private and public companies.

  • 11.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Perceived audit quality, modified audit opinions and the likelihood of liquidating bankruptcy among financially weak firms2009In: International Journal of Auditing, ISSN 1090-6738, E-ISSN 1099-1123, ISSN 1090-6738, Vol. 13, no 3, 203-221 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper examines the relationship between audit quality,modified audit opinions and the likelihood of liquidatingbankruptcy among financially weak firms. The sample consistsof 27,999 Finnish companies. It is argued that the choice of ahigh-quality auditor signals managers’ credibility and thatcreditors would be more inclined to prefer liquidatingbankruptcy as the resolution of financial difficulties if the firmis audited by a low-quality auditor. The results show thatliquidating bankruptcy is less common among Big 4 auditedfirms. A positive association between the likelihood ofbankruptcy and different types of modified audit opinions,including opinions with remarks related to the quality andpresentation of financial statements, is also found.

  • 12.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Alexeyeva, Irina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Nilsson, Niklas
    Sjödin, Mattias
    Finns det ett samband mellan revision och redovisningskvalitet?2015In: Balans : tidskrift för redovisning och revision, ISSN 0346-8208, no 4, 1-4 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Företag med revisor sköter sin bokföringsskyldighet bättre före en konkurs än vad företag utan revisor gör. Det skriver Stefan Sundgren, Irina Alexeyeva, Niklas Nilsson och Mattias Sjödin i denna artikel som baseras på en analys av 380 aktiebolag.

  • 13.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Johansson, Christian
    The effects of the auditor's professional qualification and the firm's financial health on depreciation in Finland2004In: Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 34, no 2, 125-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines the relationship in Finland between the firm's financial health and the depreciation policy for a sample with 1,610 firm-years of data for mainly non-public firms. We find a negative correlation between leverage and depreciation in relation to depreciable assets. This result is consistent with prior studies showing that firms with a higher leverage use income-increasing accounting methods. However, since accounting-based debt covenants are rare among the size class of firms studied, the correlation is likely to be driven by implicit contracting related factors. We also study whether the auditors' professional qualifications correlate with the depreciation policy. The results indicate that Big 5 audited firms depreciate their assets over somewhat shorter periods of time than non-Big 5 audited firms. This result is consistent with the notion that Big 5 auditors are more conservative, perhaps because they have more reputation capital at stake.

  • 14.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Niemi, Lasse
    Developments in auditing regulation in Finland: From a national to an international framework2008In: Auditing, Trust and Governance: Developing Regulation in Europe, Routledge, UK , 2008, 78-97 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Niemi, Lasse
    Tilintarkastuksen laatu ja alan sääntely2008In: Majakka - Tutkimuksia luottoalalta, ISSN 1796-0940, no 1, 19-26 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Henrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Stellan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Internationell redovisning: teori och praxis2013 (ed. 3)Book (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Nilsson, Stellan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Översättningsfel i IAS? Vilken version gäller?2006In: Balans, ISSN 0346-8208, Vol. 32, no 5, 47- p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Vissa fall kan det vara klara skillnader mellan ordalydelsen i den ursprungliga engelska versionen av IAS/IFRS och den svenska. Detta gäller exempelvis IAS 16. Vilken version är det då som gäller frågar författarna till denna debattartikel, som hoppas få svar från t.ex. Redovisningsrådets akutgrupp.

  • 18.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Sormunen, Nina
    Copenhagen Business School.
    Konkurssiin ajautuneiden yritysten tilintarkastuskertomukset paljastivat tilintarkastusten heikon laadun: [Audit reports of bankrupt companies revealed low audit quality]2010In: Majakka - tutkimuksia luottoalalta, no 2Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Svanström, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Audit office size, audit quality and audit pricing: Evidence from small- and medium-sized enterprises2013In: Accounting and Business Research, ISSN 0001-4788, E-ISSN 2159-4260, Vol. 43, no 1, 1-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using Swedish data, we investigate how audit quality and audit pricing vary with audit firm and office size. In contrast to prior studies, we use disciplinary sanctions issued against auditors not meeting the quality requirement as the measure of audit quality. We find no significant differences in the likelihood of sanctions between Big 4 audit firms and the fifth and sixth largest audit firms in Sweden (Grant Thornton and BDO). We refer to these collectively as ‘Top 6’. However, we find that the probabilities of warnings or exclusions from the profession are much higher for non-Top 6 auditors in Sweden than for Top 6 auditors. Furthermore, we find a strong negative association between the likelihood of sanctions and audit office size for non-Top 6 auditors. This association is insignificant for Top 6 audit firms. Audit fees follow a similar pattern and indicate that larger audit firms and offices put in more effort or have greater expertise. These results suggest that audit quality is differentiated in the private segment market. However, contrary to prior studies, our results suggest that the important dimensions are Top 6 versus non-Top 6 and the office size of non-Top 6 audit firms.

  • 20.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. University of Vaasa.
    Svanström, Tobias
    BI Norwegian Business School.
    Auditor-in-Charge Characteristics and Going-concern Reporting2014In: Contemporary Accounting Research, ISSN 0823-9150, E-ISSN 1911-3846, Vol. 31, no 2, 531-550 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We examine the effect of auditor-in-charge characteristics on audit quality using the propensity to issue a going-concern opinion as the measure of audit quality. We extend the sparse literature on auditor-in-charge characteristics by investigating how audit quality is related to the number of audit assignments and the age of the auditor. First, there is a concern that a very large number of assignments negatively affect the time and effort invested in each assignment and that the auditor may take shortcuts in important audit procedures in order to save time. Second, based on theories on career stage, older auditors may lack inherent motivation to invest enough effort in training activities and learning auditing standards. We use a sample of 1,145 privately held small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that filed for bankruptcy between October 2008 and September 2009. Our results show a negative association between the number of audit assignments held by the auditor-in-charge and audit quality, and we find that the age of the auditor-in-charge is negatively associated with audit quality. This study shows that auditor-in-charge characteristics are important determinants for audit quality in private companies and suggests that regulators should pay attention to these quality concerns and evaluate whether an upper limit on the number of assignments held would be an effective way of improving audit quality.

  • 21.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Svanström, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Avskaffad plikt kräver ökad fokus på rådgivning2010In: Balans : tidskrift för redovisning och revision, ISSN 0346-8208, no 4, 50-53 p.Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Revisionsbyrån är den viktigaste källan för råd, framför allt i små och medelstora bolag. Revisionsbyråerna får dessutom högt betyg avseende rådgivningen. Det visar resultaten av en enkätstudie som Tobias Svanström och Stefan Sundgren redogör för i denna artikel. En viktig faktor till att revisorn anlitas för rådgivning är den kontakt som etablerats genom revisionsuppdraget.

  • 22.
    Svanström, Tobias
    et al.
    BI Norwegian Business School & Umeå School of Business.
    Sundgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The demand for non-audit services and auditor-client relationships: evidence from Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises2012In: International Journal of Auditing, ISSN 1090-6738, E-ISSN 1099-1123, Vol. 16, no 1, 54-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The joint provision of audit and non-audit services byincumbent auditors has been intensively debated in theliterature. The basic issue is that, while non-audit services canimpair auditor independence, knowledge spillovers from theseservices can reduce the audit cost. This is an importanttrade-off for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) thatdepend on their auditors for non-audit services. Using datafrom 322 Swedish SMEs, this study investigates the choice ofpurchasing non-audit services from the incumbent auditor andother audit firms. We hypothesize, and find, that the lengthof the auditor-client relationship is positively related to thepurchase of non-audit services from incumbent auditors. Also,we find a positive association between perceived quality ofaudit services and the likelihood of a client purchasingnon-audit services from the auditor. However, unlike studiesof publicly traded companies, agency variables do not drive thepurchase of non-audit services by SMEs.

1 - 22 of 22
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