Impact of accounting on reorganization success: empirical evidence from bankrupt SMEs
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Purpose ? Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often lack adequate accounting systems and may even fail because of accounting inefficiencies. Indeed, accounting can mitigate the course of a crisis and support a troubled SME?s turnaround. Its impact on reorganization success, however, has scarcely been researched so far. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the effects of several accounting parameters, namely, the quality of accounting systems, quality of early warning systems, formal planning, the standard of financial accounting and reorganization planning on the short- and long-term success of court- supervised reorganization.
Design/methodology/approach ? The impact of accounting on reorganization success is investigated in a sample of all SME bankruptcy cases with ten or more employees (n = 117) in Upper Austria in 2012 including data for short-term survival (in 2016) and long-term survival (in 2019).
Findings ? This study found evidence that the general quality of accounting systems, the quality of early warning systems and written reorganization plans positively influence the outcomes of the analyzed court- supervised reorganizations of SMEs. In particular, the existence of a reorganization plan significantly increases the short- and long-term reorganization success by ensuring the efficient and effective use of resources in the reorganization process. Practical implications ? This study should increase the awareness of SMEs? owner managers, consultants, creditors and legislators for the importance of accounting in the context of reorganization. The fact that the effect of accounting on reorganization success is less pronounced in the long-term view indicates the necessity of increasing the strategic focus in SMEs? accounting instruments.
Originality/value ? This study provides new evidence on the impact of specific accounting parameters on the short- and long-term success of the court-supervised reorganization of SMEs. Furthermore, this study points out the high relevance of reorganization plans for SMEs.