Microcomputations as Micropayments in Web-based Services


ACM Transactions on Internet Technology

mai 2014, vol. 13, n°3

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

In this article, we propose a new micropayment model for nonspecialized commodity web-services based on microcomputations. In our model, a user that wishes to access online content (offered by a website) does not need to register or pay to access the website; instead, he will accept to run microcomputations on behalf of the service provider in exchange for access to the content. These microcomputations can, for example, support ongoing computing projects that have clear social benefits (e.g., projects relating to medical research) or can contribute towards commercial computing projects. We analyze the security and privacy of our proposal and we show that it preserves the privacy of users. We argue that this micropayment model is economically and technically viable and that it can be integrated in existing distributed computing frameworks (e.g., the BOINC platform). In this respect, we implement a prototype of a system based on our model and we deploy our prototype on Amazon Mechanical Turk to evaluate its performance and usability given a large number of users. Our results show that our proposed scheme does not affect the browsing experience of users and is likely to be used by a non-trivial proportion of users. Finally, we empirically show that our scheme incurs comparable bandwidth and CPU consumption to the resource usage incurred by online advertisements featured in popular websites

An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Audit and Auditor Characteristics on Audit Performance


Accounting Organizations and Society

octobre 2014, vol. 39, n°7, pp.495-510

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Auditor effort, Auditor experience, Task complexity, Auditor performance, Tax audits

We use a unique and confidential database of 15,392 tax audits performed by the Croatian Tax Administration during the 2002-2006 period to examine the impact of task complexity, auditor experience, and auditor effort on audit performance. We provide external validation to prior experimental and analytical research showing that task complexity decreases while auditor experience and effort increase audit performance. We also extend this literature by examining the roles of task complexity and experience in moderating the impact of the effort on audit performance. We find that task complexity mitigates, while experience enhances the positive relationship between auditor effort and performance. However, we also find that auditor experience reinforces the positive effect of auditor effort on performance to a greater degree when complexity is high. Taken together, our findings provide new evidence on how audit and auditor characteristics impact audit performance, and new insight into how task complexity and auditor experience separately and jointly moderate the impact of auditor effort on performance

Audit Fees In Family Firms: Evidence From U.S. Listed Companies


Journal of Applied Business Research

2014, vol. 30, n°3, pp.807-815

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Family Firms; Audit Fees; Agency Conflicts; Corporate Governance

Family businesses are an important part of the world economy (Anderson & Reeb, 2003) and differ considerably from non-family firms with regard to corporate governance. However, despite their difference, family businesses have received relatively little research attention. Our study contributes to this growing research by empirically investigating the relationship between family shareholding and audit pricing. Using a sample of 3,291 firm-year observations of major U.S. listed companies, for the 2006–2008 period, our results demonstrate that audit fees are negatively associated with family shareholding after taking into account time-varying effects and industry effects as well as traditional control variables. The empirical results are robust to alternativefamily shareholding measures and estimation model specifications. Our results are consistent with the convergence-of-interests hypothesis suggesting that family firms face lower manager/shareholders agency costs. Auditors charge lower fees for family firms because of lower information asymmetry and risk given that the controlling family is well informed about the firmand is better able to monitor managerial decisions

Business Partnering: Is It All That Good?


Controlling & Management Review

avril 2014, vol. 58, n°2, pp.36-41

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Challengers from within economic institutions: A second-class social movement? A response to Déjean, Giamporcaro, Gond, Leca and Penalva-Icher's comment on French SRI

Diane-Laure ARJALIES

Journal of Business Ethics

août 2014, vol. 123, n°2, pp.257-262

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Institutional change, Mainstreaming, Social movement, Socially responsible investment

In a recent comment made about my paper 'A Social Movement Perspective on Finance: How Socially Responsible Investment Mattered' (J Bus Ethics 92:57-78, 2010), published in this journal, Déjean, Giamporcaro, Gond, Leca and Penalva-Icher (J Bus Ethics 112:205-212, 2013) strongly criticize the social movement perspective adopted on French SRI. They both contest the empirical analysis of the movement and the possibility for insiders to trigger institutional change towards sustainability. This answer aims to address the different concerns raised throughout their comment and illuminate the differences between both approaches. It first explains why SRI in France can be considered as a social movement, despite not being protest-oriented. It then reflects on the dangers of systematically associating societal change with radical activism. It concludes by elaborating on the importance of acknowledging the potential contribution of reformist movements from within the economic institutions to the enhancement of the social good

Costing Practices in Healthcare


Accounting Horizons

juin 2014, vol. 28, n°2, pp.353-364

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Costing practices, DRG systems, Healthcare

Fishing for excuses and performance evaluation


Review of Accounting Studies

juin 2014, vol. 19, pp.988-1008

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Performance measurement, Manipulation, Controllability principle, Excuse culture, Influence activity

We study a principal–agent model in which the agent can provide expost additional relevant information regarding his performance. In particular, he canprovide a legitimate excuse, that is, evidence that a poor result is only due to factorsoutside his control. However, building a convincing case requires time, time that isnot spent on exerting productive effort and thus generating information representsan opportunity cost. We obtain necessary and sufficient conditions for the principalto prefer a policy of adjusting ex post the performance measure for the informationprovided by the agent to a policy of conforming to a result-based system with noadjustments. The risk aversion and a possible limited liability of the agent play animportant role in the analysis. This paper clarifies the issues associated with the socalled‘‘excuse culture’’ prevailing in some organizations

Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Currency ?


IEEE Security & Privacy

mai-juin 2014, vol. 12, n°3, pp.54-60

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Cryptography, Proposals, Peer-to-peer computing, Internet, Online banking, Privacy, Bitcoin, Decentralized decision process, Security

Bitcoin has achieved large-scale acceptance and popularity by promising its users a fully decentralized and low-cost virtual currency system. However, recent incidents and observations are revealing the true limits of decentralization in the Bitcoin system. In this article, we show that the vital operations and decisions that Bitcoin is currently undertaking are not decentralized. More specifically, we show that a limited set of entities currently control the services, decision making, mining, and the incident resolution processes in Bitcoin. We also show that third-party entities can unilaterally decide to “devalue” any specific set of Bitcoin addresses pertaining to any entity participating in the system. Finally, we explore possible avenues to enhance the decentralization in the Bitcoin system

The construction of a trustworthy investment opportunity: Insights from the Madoff fraud

H. STOLOWY, R. Baker, T. Jeanjean, M. Messner

Contemporary Accounting Research

été 2014, vol. 31, n°2, pp.354-397

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Madoff, Trustworthiness, Illusion, Financial markets

In this paper, we use the investment fraud of Bernard Madoff to inquire into the production of trust in the context of financial markets. Drawing upon empirical data related to U.S. individual investors (interviews and letters) as well as documentary material, we investigate the mechanisms through which investing with Madoff came to be seen as a trustworthy investment opportunity. We show how different types of information contributed to construct Bernard Madoff as a trustworthy investment manager and how Madoff avoided meeting demands for accountability by manipulating investors in face-to-face encounters. We shed particular light on the role of institution-based forms of trust which play a critical role in facilitating economic exchanges. More specifically, we suggest that the Madoff case illuminates how the provision of information can lead to an 'illusion of trustworthiness' that is difficult to escape for investors. An element of such illusion, we suggest, is inherent to the functioning of financial markets more generally.

The Role of Accounting Accruals in Chinese Firms


China Accounting and Finance Review

2014, vol. 16, n°2, pp.148-154

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Cheng and Li (2013) investigate whether income smoothing improves earnings informativeness for Chinese firms by replicating the research design of Tucker and Zarowin (2006). The results suggest that the relation still holds for a more recent sample of US firms but the relation is different for Chinese firms. These results are interesting, and the authors argue that the poorer information environment in China is a possible culprit for the different results. This discussion raises the issue of what role accruals play in Chinese accounting. I replicate the study by Dechow (1994) in the Chinese market and find evidence consistent with the prediction that earnings exhibit less short-term noise than cash flows and greater associations with stock prices as the performance benchmark. These findings are indicative of accruals playing a similar role for Chinese firms as for US firms but also draw attention to some unresolved questions and areas for future research