The Matching Principle and its influence on Operating Expenses volatility and data quality – Case study in a German hidden champion software company
In this case study, specific Operating Expenses (OPEXs) of a German hidden champion software company are analyzed, in order to determine the influence of changes in the accounting processes - specifically the result of a strict usage of the Matching Principle - on the volatility of a company’s OPEXs. The results of the analysis implicate that a sole strict adjustment of a company’s accounting processes to the Matching Principle can already eliminate an essential part of cost volatility, under perfect adoption only leaving non-accounting, mostly external factors like a fluctuating oil price or changing energy demands driving the conventional volatility, which by contrast can only to a small degree be influenced by the company itself. Considering the results of the adjustment, the paper further discusses the relevance of data quality as a foundation for reliable studies in the light of inaccurate accounting and thus also provides empirical evidence that company data should not simply be used by researchers without having a closer look on the gathered data. Furthermore, concrete approaches for implementing these changes of the Matching Accuracy into accounting praxis in a feasible way are presented within the discussion of the data adjustment.