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Value relevance and timeliness of transitional goodwill-impairment losses: Evidence from Canada

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Author Info

  • Lapointe-Antunes, Pascale
  • Cormier, Denis
  • Magnan, Michel

Abstract

Focusing on transitional goodwill-impairment losses (losses) recorded by Canadian firms following the adoption of revised standards on purchased goodwill, we investigate the value relevance and timeliness of mandatory changes in accounting principles accounted for using the retroactive method. We find a negative relationship between reported losses and share price. Such a finding is consistent with investors perceiving losses as being sufficiently reliable measurements of a reduction in the value of goodwill to incorporate them in their valuation assessments. We find also that investors put a higher valuation weight on losses reported by firms that are expected to record a loss. In addition, we show that investors perceive that there are reduced opportunities for managerial discretion when there is a more effective audit committee. Finally, our results show that returns lead losses, i.e., that losses represent a catch-up adjustment to reflect the cumulative effect of using the impairment approach for the first time. Overall, our evidence supports U.S. standard setters' decision, through SFAS 154, to favour enhanced comparability and consistency over the potential costs of frequent restatements. Our results also show that fair-value measurements can be relevant even when the financial statement elements of interest are inherently bound to measurement error and subject to significant managerial discretion. They support the notion that reliability is about faithful representation, not precision.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The International Journal of Accounting.

Volume (Year): 44 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 56-78

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Handle: RePEc:eee:accoun:v:44:y:2009:i:1:p:56-78

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620179

Related research

Keywords: Accounting for goodwill Audit committee Corporate governance Goodwill impairment Mandatory accounting changes;

References

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  1. Xie, Biao & Davidson, Wallace III & DaDalt, Peter J., 2003. "Earnings management and corporate governance: the role of the board and the audit committee," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 295-316, June.
  2. Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 2001. "The relevance of the value relevance literature for financial accounting standard setting: another view," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 77-104, September.
  3. Espahbodi, Hassan & Espahbodi, Pouran & Rezaee, Zabihollah & Tehranian, Hassan, 2002. "Stock price reaction and value relevance of recognition versus disclosure: the case of stock-based compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 343-373, August.
  4. Anne Beatty & Joseph Weber, 2006. "Accounting Discretion in Fair Value Estimates: An Examination of SFAS 142 Goodwill Impairments," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 257-288, 05.
  5. Agrawal, Anup & Chadha, Sahiba, 2005. "Corporate Governance and Accounting Scandals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 371-406, October.
  6. Klein, April, 2002. "Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 375-400, August.
  7. Ball, Ray & Kothari, S. P. & Robin, Ashok, 2000. "The effect of international institutional factors on properties of accounting earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Paul Van Hulzen & Laura Alfonso & Georgios Georgakopoulos & Ioannis Sotiropoulos, 2011. "Amortisation Versus Impairment of Goodwill and Accounting Quality," International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research (IJESAR), Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Kavala, Greece, vol. 4(3), pages 93-118, December.
  2. Vassili Joannides & Nicolas Berland & D. T. Wickramasinghe, 2010. "Post-Hofstede diversity/cultural studies: what contributions to accounting knowledge?," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00676570, HAL.
  3. Inès Bouden & Luc Paugam & Olivier Ramond, 2011. "Les déterminants de la dépréciation du goodwill : proposition d'un cadre d'analyse," Post-Print hal-00646810, HAL.

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