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Harley Davidson Inc. – a case in international accrual accounting analysis on the risk, profitability and/or cash flow from estimation and management discretion

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Abstract

The case study on Harley Davidson Inc. is a comprehensive case analysis of the impact of accrual accounting on the risk, profitability and/or cash flow on its reported financial performance. It analysed significant red flag items most likely to be subject to estimation and management discretion. It seeks to explain in the context of managerial stakeholder theory whether management had any earnings management motivations for presenting the financial data as it was originally in the annual report; and whether in the context of positive accounting theory does the bonus plan hypothesis explain managements' motivations. The study concludes with a four-year comparative analysis 2004-2007 of significant accounting ratios; and evaluates the extent to which the ratios have been affected by the estimates adopted from the accrual accounting processes.

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