Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand whether managerial behavior in impairing goodwill arising from M&As has changed after the adoption of IAS/IFRS, searching for evidences of earnings management (EM) practices. Thus, our goal is to provide a response to the following research questions. Are goodwill impairments used by listed firms’ managers to manipulate earnings? If so, what kind of EM practice is mostly used? Design/methodology/approach – In this paper the authors tested the following hypothesis: H1. In the year of the deal’s closure and in the following four years, the management detects impairment of goodwill in difformity with the previous Italian regulations and related accounting practices. Moreover, the authors tried to determine, for each considered firms, potential symptoms of typical DEM practices widely debated in the financial accounting literature (income smoothing, income minimization, income minimization, or big bath accounting). Findings – Our analysis does not prove evidence of certain EM practices, but it highlights very clearly that, after the adoption of IAS/IFRS, managers’ behavior has deeply changed. Moreover, the analysis shows that there is no univocal choice in favor of a specific EM practice and that every firm pursues its own “strategy.” Originality/value – Considering the importance of the topic from both the perspectives of managerial (with regard to M&As valuation processes) and financial accounting (with regard to intangibles valuation fulfilled by applying the impairment test instead of the amortization), this work aims to provide a multi-dimensional contribution to the current debate. Keywords Intellectual capital reporting, Intellectual capital, Strategy, Accounting Paper type Research paper

Earnings management and goodwill impairment: An empirical analysis in the Italian M & A context

FERRARI, ELISA RITA;
2016

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand whether managerial behavior in impairing goodwill arising from M&As has changed after the adoption of IAS/IFRS, searching for evidences of earnings management (EM) practices. Thus, our goal is to provide a response to the following research questions. Are goodwill impairments used by listed firms’ managers to manipulate earnings? If so, what kind of EM practice is mostly used? Design/methodology/approach – In this paper the authors tested the following hypothesis: H1. In the year of the deal’s closure and in the following four years, the management detects impairment of goodwill in difformity with the previous Italian regulations and related accounting practices. Moreover, the authors tried to determine, for each considered firms, potential symptoms of typical DEM practices widely debated in the financial accounting literature (income smoothing, income minimization, income minimization, or big bath accounting). Findings – Our analysis does not prove evidence of certain EM practices, but it highlights very clearly that, after the adoption of IAS/IFRS, managers’ behavior has deeply changed. Moreover, the analysis shows that there is no univocal choice in favor of a specific EM practice and that every firm pursues its own “strategy.” Originality/value – Considering the importance of the topic from both the perspectives of managerial (with regard to M&As valuation processes) and financial accounting (with regard to intangibles valuation fulfilled by applying the impairment test instead of the amortization), this work aims to provide a multi-dimensional contribution to the current debate. Keywords Intellectual capital reporting, Intellectual capital, Strategy, Accounting Paper type Research paper
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/120139
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