IMPAIRMENT OF GOODWILL - A study about differences in goodwill impairment and the enforcement regarding impairment of goodwill in Europe, the US and in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Background and problem: Since 2005, every listed company in Europe has to implement the statements by IASB in the consolidated financial statements. This is a step in the convergence process between the IFRS and the US GAAP. Even if differences are eliminated, some still remain. There are also differences in the implementation of IFRS within Europe. One difference regards the treatment of goodwill and the impairment of goodwill. This item allows a great scope of interpretations and evaluations by the corporate management, which can prevent the statements being properly implemented. Hence, a professional judgment and high quality enforcement is needed.Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to examine, at a country level, if there are differences in the goodwill impairments between Europe and the US and between the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. Continually, if there are differences we want to examine if it is a consequence of differences in the quality of the enforcement.Delimitations: We only include listed companies stated in Europe and the US in our first comparison and the UK, France, Germany and Sweden in our second comparison. Since the IFRS is compulsory for listed European companies since 2005, we limit our data to 2005-2009.Methodology: The thesis is of a quantitative character since we have collected data for the listed companies in Europe and the US during 2005-2009 and data for the listed companies in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden during 2005-2009. Two hypotheses are tested to distinguish statistical connections regarding impairment of goodwill for the two regions and for the four countries.Results and conclusions: The empirical results show that there are differences regarding impairment of goodwill between the two regions and the four countries. We consider this being a consequence of differences in the quality of enforcement.Suggestions for further research: We suggest a similar study but with different variables. We also suggest further and deeper research about impairment of goodwill between the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

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