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Second quantitative study on goodwill and impairment

  • ASBJ (Accounting Standards Board of Japan) Image

04 Oct 2016

Similar to the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), the Accounting Standards Board of Japan (ASBJ) took up research on goodwill and goodwill impairment following the post-implementation review of IFRS 3 'Business Combinations'. Originally, these two research efforts were not connected, only relatively late in the process data and findings were combined and exchanged. Therefore, the ASBJ research report now published is a companion piece to the EFRAG report published last week but not identical.

The main findings presented in the ASBJ report are:

  • For all stock market indices analysed (Japan, United States, Australia, Europe), the total amount of goodwill and the amount of goodwill per company increased from 2005 to 2014.
  • The stock market indices of the United States and Europe recognised larger amounts, both in the total amount of goodwill and the amount of goodwill per company, compared to the stock market indices of Japan and Australia.
  • The stock market indices of the United States and Europe have consistently shown higher ratios of goodwill to net assets and of goodwill to market capitalisation.
  • In 2014, 32% of the companies regognising goodwill in the United States and 25% of the companies regognising goodwill in Europe had goodwill that exceeded 50% of their net assets. Furthermore, 14% of those companies in the Unites States and 11% of those companies in Europe had goodwill that exceeded 100% of their net assets. A few companies in the United States, Europe and Australia had goodwill that exceeded 100% of their market capitalisation.
  • In the United States and Europe, the market capitalisation exceeded by a large portion the carrying amount of equity in the statement of financial position.
  • Explicit time lags were not observed by analysing the correlation between impairment and the price or points of the stock market index.
  • Fully expensing goodwill judged by the data collected takes on average 82 in the United States, 37 in Europe, 9 years in Japan, and 34 years in Australia.

Please click to access the study and a corresponding press release on the ASBJ website. The EFRAG's research report can be accessed here.

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