We investigate whether family firms are motivated to adopt conservative accounting practices, given their unique characteristics of high promoter holdings, less diversified equity and long-term interest in the business. We examine whether heterogeneity within family firms, captured through family members' involvement in management and the firm's affiliation to a business group, drives conservative behavior. We test our model on a sample of 2534 listed Indian firms from 2006 to 2015. Our results indicate that family-controlled firms are more conditionally conservative in their accounting practices, especially when family members manage them and when they are affiliated with a business group. These findings are robust to alternative measures of conservatism and also after controlling for omitted variable bias and reverse causality.