This study examines whether accruals models' performance, in terms of predictive accuracy and power to detect earnings management, varies across strongly heterogeneous samples, such as different countries. We analyse the performance of two accruals estimation models, that is, the Modified Jones model and the Dechow-Dichev model. Using accounting data from nine countries for the period 1989-2009, we find that the models exhibit considerable cross-country performance variation and, more importantly, that this variation is systematic. We empirically establish that the international variation in sales growth persistence, accounting practices, and sample size explains a significant proportion of the cross-country performance variation, highlighting a potential inference problem in across-sample comparisons.