Financial Reporting Reform and Organisational Change - Evidence from Australia's IFRS Adventure

MGSM Working Paper No. 2008-13

23 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2008

See all articles by Tyrone M. Carlin

Tyrone M. Carlin

Southern Cross University; The University of Sydney Business School

Nigel Finch

Saki Partners

Date Written: November 28, 2008


While the adoption of IFRS did not visit radical change upon all aspects of the financial accounting and reporting apparatus, this was not in the case of goodwill accounting and reporting, where almost every facet of prior practice was rendered redundant. Accordingly, careful scrutiny of the manner in which firms responded to new reporting requirements as they shift from one goodwill reporting regime to another provides an avenue through which evidence on how organisations cope with the rigours of complex material reporting change may be gathered. This is a question with potentially significant implications for a range of stakeholders including auditors, financial analysts, regulators and report users.

This paper reports the results of a study of the goodwill reporting practices adopted by a sample of 50 large Australian listed firms which disclosed the existence of goodwill in each of the first two years in which they produced financial statements pursuant to IFRS. The quality and technical accuracy of the goodwill disclosures produced by these organisations together with an assessment of evidence of variation in these over time provides an evidentiary basis for analysis. The focal question pondered in light of this evidentiary base pertains to the nature of organisational responses to changes such as those brought about by continued development and reform of financial reporting standards.

Keywords: Goodwill, Impairment, Financial reporting, Creative accounting, Australia, Organisational Change

JEL Classification: M41, M44, M47

Suggested Citation

Carlin, Tyrone M. and Finch, Nigel, Financial Reporting Reform and Organisational Change - Evidence from Australia's IFRS Adventure (November 28, 2008). MGSM Working Paper No. 2008-13 . Available at SSRN: or

Tyrone M. Carlin (Contact Author)

Southern Cross University ( email )

Lismore, New South Wales 2480

The University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Cnr. of Codrington and Rose Streets
Sydney, NSW 2006
+ 61 2 9036 7230 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 7471 (Fax)


Nigel Finch

Saki Partners ( email )


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