Resisting compliance with IFRS goodwill accounting and reporting disclosures

Evidence from Australia

Tyrone M. Carlin*, Nigel Finch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study designed to understand the extent of compliance with the goodwill accounting and reporting disclosure requirements under AASB 136 among a sample of goodwill intensive Australian firms over the first two years of their IFRS adoption. Design/methodology/approach – Examining 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. Findings – The paper finds continued high levels of non-compliance with the goodwill accounting standard suggesting that a viable organisational option in the face of change is to fail to take steps to comply. This organisational response undermines the assumptions of consistency and comparability as key qualitative characteristics under IFRS. Originality/value – The focal question pondered pertains to the nature of organisational responses to changes such as those brought about by continued development and reform of financial reporting standards. This is a question with potentially significant implications for a range of stakeholders including auditors, financial analysts, regulators and report users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-280
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Accounting & Organizational Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2010


  • Australia
  • Creative accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Goodwill accounting

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