Une étude exploratoire des règles et pratiques françaises et internationales en matière de traitement comptable des actifs incorporels
From 2005, European listed firms and many more around the world are required to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The introduction of a uniform accounting system is expected to ensure greater comparability and transparency of financial reporting around the world. Over recent years there has been an increasing interest in the field of intangibles, which are gaining more and more importance in financial statements. This paper aims to study the impact of the adoption of IFRS standards on the accounting treatment of intangible assets. In a first part, we examine and compare the similarities and differences between the two accounting systems concerning intangible assets. Secondly, we conduct an empirical study, based on the analyse of French listed companies annual reports for 2004. In fact, 2004 heralds a crucial turning point in the countdown to 2005, the date by which all European Union-listed companies must report their consolidated accounts using IFRS. Findings show that five configurations representing the impact of IFRS application occur, two of which include 83% of the companies selected. For most of them, the implementation of international standards does not imply any change. This is contrary to our findings presented in the first part. The other significant tendency concerns companies recording an increase in the amount of goodwill to the detriment of other intangible assets, and this seems contrary with the IASB objectives. This is followed by a discussion of findings and directions of future research.
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