The Role of Accrual Accounting Basis in the Prediction of Future Cash Flows: The Nigerian Evidence

Oba Efayena


The study examines the role of past accrual based earnings derived from accrual accounting basis in comparison to cash flows  in the prediction of future operating cash flows of quoted non-financial companies in Nigeria. Using a sample of 40 quoted non-financial companies in the Nigeria Stock Exchange, studied over a period of 13 years from 2001 – 2013, and employing the OLS regression technique, the results suggest that both past accrual based earnings and cash flows have predictive ability in forecasting future operating cash flows. The results show that cash flows are a better predictor of future operating cash flows than past earnings. Our findings do not support the assertion of the FASB (1978) and the IASB (1989) that earnings are a better predictor of future cash flows. The study recommends that the quality of accounting information produced by the accrual accounting basis should be improved upon by the urgent enforcement of international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in Nigeria.

Keywords: past accrual based earnings; accrual accounting basis; cash flows; future operating cash flows; predictive ability; OLS regression

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1697 ISSN (Online)2222-2847

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