Value relevance and timeliness of transitional goodwill-impairment losses: Evidence from Canada
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:accoun:v:44:y:2009:i:1:p:56-78. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.