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    The Influence of Audi Fees in the Nexus Between Corporate Sustainability Engagement and Earnings Management

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    Purpose: This study aims to examine the relationship between corporate sustainability engagement and earnings management and the function of audit fees in that relationship.   Theoretical framework: Sustainability reporting and earnings management may not be applicable or generate the same outcomes due to differences in societal values, culture, and development levels between developed and developing countries, which emphasises the need for this study to focus on Bangladesh, an emerging market.   Design/methodology/approach: This research employs content analysis to determine the magnitude of the sustainability activities for 2010 to 2020 of the banking sectors of Bangladesh. Additionally, this study uses discretionary accruals as a proxy for earnings management.   Findings: According to the results, there is a significant positive relationship between corporate sustainability engagement and earnings management, with audit fees serving as a moderator in the negative direction. According to these findings, high audit costs are likely to compel bank executives to submit high-quality financial reports and restrict their use of sustainability activities to management opportunism.   Research, practical and social implication: The study's findings should concern researchers and corporate authorities interested about managers' earnings management aspirations. The findings will immediately impact academics and decision-makers in countries with similar financial and governmental systems.   Originality/value: According to sustainability reporting studies, disclosures have been driven by the need to calm concerns about a company's authenticity. This paper acknowledges the need for increased audit fees for quality auditors, but it argues that rigorous audit procedures are more important for raising financial disclosure standards.
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