The Value Relevance of Dirty Surplus Accounting Flows in the Netherlands
CentER Discussion Paper No. 2003-63
Posted: 15 Jun 2004
Date Written: 2003
Recently the Dutch financial reporting standard setters have taken steps to make dirty surplus accounting flows more visible to parties outside firms, either by eliminating their possibility or by requiring comprehensive income type statements. These steps are presumably based on the idea that dirty surplus accounting flows are value relevant to investors and hence have to be visible to them. Whether dirty surplus accounting flows are indeed value relevant is an empirical issue. This paper therefore explores both incremental and relative value relevance of various dirty surplus accounting flows for Dutch listed firms. We find evidence that dirty surplus goodwill write-offs in particular are relevant in explaining returns and that the clean surplus earnings perform better than the reported earnings over 1-year intervals. Taken together, these 1-year interval empirical results indeed imply that the Dutch managers in the period considered wrote-off value relevant information via dirty surplus accounting flows. Over longerterm intervals, dirty surplus items are not or negatively related to returns and reported income becomes more value relevant than clean surplus income.
Keywords: Dirty surplus accounting flows, value relevance, The Netherlands
JEL Classification: G12, M41, M44, M47
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