Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

12-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics-Accounting

Reader 1

Matthew Magilke

Rights Information

© 2016 Juan E. Perez II

Abstract

After the Great Recession of 2007 there was a spotlight on executive compensation. The magnitude and structure of executive pay became an area of concern to the public. As a result, company management across all sectors had to find a way to offer competitive compensation plans that aligned the interest of shareholders with that of executives. The outcome was an increased focus on tying executive pay to company performance. The level of fixed-pay incorporated into target compensation began to decreases rapidly and was replaced by “at-risk” compensation. For some, this was a major achievement in the world of executive compensation, however, others view this change as potentially dangerous. I chose to analyze the pay-mix structure and annual incentive plans of a group of bellwether companies to see if this transition is increasing company’s exposure to fraud. In this essay I attempt to tie increases in at-risk pay to increases in fraud risk, while identifying incentive goals affected by common fraud practices.

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