The Pattern Analysis of Financial Distress for Non-audited Firms using Data Mining

데이터마이닝 기법을 활용한 비외감기업의 부실화 유형 분석

Lee, Su Hyun;Park, Jung Min;Lee, Hyoung Yong

  • Received : 2015.11.25
  • Accepted : 2015.12.10
  • Published : 2015.12.30


There are only a handful number of research conducted on pattern analysis of corporate distress as compared with research for bankruptcy prediction. The few that exists mainly focus on audited firms because financial data collection is easier for these firms. But in reality, corporate financial distress is a far more common and critical phenomenon for non-audited firms which are mainly comprised of small and medium sized firms. The purpose of this paper is to classify non-audited firms under distress according to their financial ratio using data mining; Self-Organizing Map (SOM). SOM is a type of artificial neural network that is trained using unsupervised learning to produce a lower dimensional discretized representation of the input space of the training samples, called a map. SOM is different from other artificial neural networks as it applies competitive learning as opposed to error-correction learning such as backpropagation with gradient descent, and in the sense that it uses a neighborhood function to preserve the topological properties of the input space. It is one of the popular and successful clustering algorithm. In this study, we classify types of financial distress firms, specially, non-audited firms. In the empirical test, we collect 10 financial ratios of 100 non-audited firms under distress in 2004 for the previous two years (2002 and 2003). Using these financial ratios and the SOM algorithm, five distinct patterns were distinguished. In pattern 1, financial distress was very serious in almost all financial ratios. 12% of the firms are included in these patterns. In pattern 2, financial distress was weak in almost financial ratios. 14% of the firms are included in pattern 2. In pattern 3, growth ratio was the worst among all patterns. It is speculated that the firms of this pattern may be under distress due to severe competition in their industries. Approximately 30% of the firms fell into this group. In pattern 4, the growth ratio was higher than any other pattern but the cash ratio and profitability ratio were not at the level of the growth ratio. It is concluded that the firms of this pattern were under distress in pursuit of expanding their business. About 25% of the firms were in this pattern. Last, pattern 5 encompassed very solvent firms. Perhaps firms of this pattern were distressed due to a bad short-term strategic decision or due to problems with the enterpriser of the firms. Approximately 18% of the firms were under this pattern. This study has the academic and empirical contribution. In the perspectives of the academic contribution, non-audited companies that tend to be easily bankrupt and have the unstructured or easily manipulated financial data are classified by the data mining technology (Self-Organizing Map) rather than big sized audited firms that have the well prepared and reliable financial data. In the perspectives of the empirical one, even though the financial data of the non-audited firms are conducted to analyze, it is useful for find out the first order symptom of financial distress, which makes us to forecast the prediction of bankruptcy of the firms and to manage the early warning and alert signal. These are the academic and empirical contribution of this study. The limitation of this research is to analyze only 100 corporates due to the difficulty of collecting the financial data of the non-audited firms, which make us to be hard to proceed to the analysis by the category or size difference. Also, non-financial qualitative data is crucial for the analysis of bankruptcy. Thus, the non-financial qualitative factor is taken into account for the next study. This study sheds some light on the non-audited small and medium sized firms' distress prediction in the future.


Financial Distress;Non-audited Firm;Self-organizing Map;Distress Type;Financial Ratio


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