Has Goodwill Accounting Under SFAS 142 Improved Financial Reporting?
46 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2006
Date Written: April 2007
SFAS 142 made two significant changes to goodwill accounting. First, firms are required to annually test goodwill for impairment. Second, firms are prohibited from systematically amortizing goodwill. In this study, I test whether each of these changes resulted in improved financial reporting, as predicted by the FASB. I find evidence that annual impairment testing improves financial reporting. However, I also find evidence that elimination of systematic amortization reduced the quality of financial reporting. As additional analysis, I demonstrate that a goodwill accounting system that allows both annual impairment testing and systematic amortization, while allowing firms the discretion to choose a firm-specific mix of each, provides the most value relevant goodwill accounting numbers.
Keywords: goodwill, impairment, amortization, valuation
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation