An Analysis of Factors Influencing Asset Writedowns
Accounting and Finance, Vol. 38, pp. 157-179, 1998
Posted: 18 May 2010 Last revised: 9 Mar 2017
This study investigates the magnitude of total asset writedowns for a random sample of Australian industrial companies. We adopt an income strategy approach in operationalising our magnitude of writedowns construct to consider the set of accounting policies and negative accruals potentially available to managers. Our focus is on the incentives for and constraints on management to make asset writedowns. We find that the magnitude of writedowns observed are associated with managers incentives to writedown impaired assets that have declined in value, as well as the firm's capacity to absorb the financial statement effects of the writedown. The number of senior management changes found to be associated with greater writedowns in prior studies is also supported in this study when only writedowns taken to the income statement are considered. The quality of corporate governance mechanisms does not vary systematically with the magnitude of writedowns.
Keywords: Asset writedowns, Managerial incentives and constraints
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation