managed earnings

Definition

Fraudulent accounting practice of inflating earnings and diminishing expenditures with misapplication of accounting principles and creative financial engineering techniques such as premature recognition of revenue and 'cookie jar reserves.' According to the management accountants Paul Healy and James Wahlen, this practice occurs "when managers use judgment in financial reporting and in structuring transactions to alter financial reports to either mislead some stakeholders about the underlying economic performance of the company or to influence contractual outcomes that depend on reporting accounting numbers." And, according to the financial analyst Hewitt Heiserman, Jr., "managed earnings misrepresent the inherently cyclical nature of business."
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