Evidence on the use of unverifiable estimates in required goodwill impairment

Evidence on the use of unverifiable estimates in required goodwill impairment SFAS 142 requires managers to estimate the current fair value of goodwill to determine goodwill write-offs. In promulgating the standard, the FASB predicted that managers will, on average, use the fair-value estimates to convey private information on future cash flows. The current fair value of goodwill is unverifiable because it depends in part on management’s future actions (including managers’ conceptualization and implementation of firm strategy). Agency theory predicts managers will, on average, use the unverifiable discretion in SFAS 142 consistent with private incentives. We test these hypotheses in a sample of firms with market indications of goodwill impairment. Our evidence, while consistent with some agency-theory based predictions, does not confirm the private information hypothesis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Evidence on the use of unverifiable estimates in required goodwill impairment

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-012-9188-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SFAS 142 requires managers to estimate the current fair value of goodwill to determine goodwill write-offs. In promulgating the standard, the FASB predicted that managers will, on average, use the fair-value estimates to convey private information on future cash flows. The current fair value of goodwill is unverifiable because it depends in part on management’s future actions (including managers’ conceptualization and implementation of firm strategy). Agency theory predicts managers will, on average, use the unverifiable discretion in SFAS 142 consistent with private incentives. We test these hypotheses in a sample of firms with market indications of goodwill impairment. Our evidence, while consistent with some agency-theory based predictions, does not confirm the private information hypothesis.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: May 23, 2012

References

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