自由現金流量假說指出代理人可能產生過度投資之代理問題，並認為舉債具有抑制此問題之作用。對舉債部分，本研究同時納入債務契約假說加以探討。過去之研究顯示，我國實務上代理問題引發盈餘管理行為的現象普遍存在，然鮮少研究自由現金流量假說與盈餘管理之關連性。因此，本研究將基於自由現金流量及債務契約兩種假說，檢視這兩個假說與裁決性應計項目之關連性。本研究將自由現金流量與成長機會以中位數各劃分兩群，交叉相乘下構成四種情境，以探討處於不同情境下公司經理人盈餘管理之現象，並探究舉債程度對經理人盈餘管理行為之影響。實證結果顯示，整體而言自由現金流量與成長機會兩變數對於經理人盈餘管理行為具顯著關係。而在情境二（即自由現金流量大且低成長機會），經理人為維護自身利益確實會使用裁決性應計項目操弄盈餘，其裁決性應計項目使用之程度大於其他三種情境，且顯示舉債具有抑減經理人操弄盈餘之效果，該結果表示接受了自由現金流量假說。對於其餘三種情境，普遍存在盈餘管理行為，此時舉債程度提升並未有抑減經理人操弄盈餘之效果，該結果表示接受了債務契約假說。本研究之主要意義，係劃分四種情境後，有助於了解上述兩種假說成立的前提背景。 Free cash flow hypothesis points out the agent might cause the agency problems of over-investment and also supposes debt can solve this problem. Based on the debt, this study is extended to explore the debt covenant. The agency problems have generally existed in practice which revealed in previous study. But seldom studies explore the association between the free cash flow hypothesis and earnings management. Therefore, this study is based on free cash flow hypothesis and debt covenant hypothesis to examine the association between these two hypotheses and the discretionary accrual. The study puts free cash flow and growth opportunity into two groups separately, and spread out to four situations, to discuss corporate managers' earnings management phenomenon in different situations and explore the effect of the degree of debt on the managers' earnings management behavior. Empirical results showed that the managers' earnings management behavior relates significantly to two variables of free cash flow and growth opportunity in general. The managers exactly use discretionary accruals to manage earnings for self-interest in situation 2 (high free cash flow and low growth opportunity), and the discretionary accruals are used more than other situations. The debt can generate the reduction of earnings manipulation caused by managers, so the free cash flow hypothesis is accepted. To other three situations, earnings management commonly exists and the rise of the degree of debt can not reduce managers' manipulation, so the result accept the debt covenant hypothesis. As the result, this study distinguishing into four situations will help us understand the premises and background that free cash flow hypothesis and debt covenant hypothesis are accepted.
「2006當代會計暨管理論壇」大會手冊論文集=Proceedings of the 2006 Forum on Contemporary Accounting & Management，35頁