The usefulness of operating cash flow and accrual components in improving the predictive ability of earnings: a re-examination and extension
We examine whether the components of accruals and operating cash flows improve the predictive ability of earnings for forecasting future cash flows. Unlike most previous studies, we avoid data estimation errors and sample self-selection bias because we exploit data from Australia where reporting of actual cash flow components had been mandatory since 1992. We show that accrual components and operating cash flow components together are more useful than (i) earnings, (ii) operating cash flows and total accruals and (iii) the combination of operating cash flows with accrual components in forecasting future cash flows. These results are robust to several contextual factors, including the length of the operating cash cycle, industry membership, firm profitability and firm size.
Accounting & Finance