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Earnings Management Behavior with Respect to Goodwill Impairment Losses under IAS 36: The French Case

Nour Malijebtou Hassine () and Faouzi Jilani

International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, 2017, vol. 7, issue 2, 177-196

Abstract: This study investigates how reporting incentives influence firms’ accounting choices when they are required to use standard IAS 36 to account for goodwill impairment. Specifically, we examine if earnings management motives are associated with the decision and the magnitude of annual goodwill impairment losses reported by French firms. Based on a sample of 720 observations derived from 105 groups of companies that belong to the SBF 250 during the period 2006-2012, results of this study confirm largely our predictions. Indeed, main results show that the decision to record goodwill impairment losses is driven by both CEO change and financial crisis motives. In addition, the findings indicate that managers overstate annual goodwill impairment losses to meet earnings management incentives related not only to CEO change and financial crisis but also to earnings smoothing and big bath accounting. The robustness tests reveal that firms with higher leverage tend to record an increased goodwill impairment loss in response to debt renegotiation incentive. This study illuminates the accounting standard-setters in understanding managers’ reporting choices related to the use of discretion afforded by standard IAS 36 on goodwill impairment in France in order to state on its practical usefulness. Thus, it contributes to the international actual debate on goodwill impairment.

Keywords: IFRS 3; IAS 36; accounting for goodwill; goodwill impairment; earnings management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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