Goodwill Impairment Charges under (NZ)36: role of executives' incentives and corporate governance
This study aims to examine whether a manager uses discretion in determining impairment loss on goodwill in the years subsequent to the adoption of International Accounting Standards (IAS) 36, based on executive incentives and corporate governance characteristics. This study was conducted on 66 New Zealand companies which were listed on the New Zealand (Stock) Exchange (NZX) from 2008 – 2010. The research design is developed as a hypothetical model to test the question of whether bonus-based incentives, in-the-money options, and strength of board influence goodwill impairment charges. This study uses a dichotomous logistic regression model to predict the goodwill impairment loss (GIL) with economic performance, executive incentives and corporate governance explanatory variables. Test results reveal that managers’ reporting incentives affect their decisions to recognise goodwill impairment when the managers have sizable holdings of in-the-money stock options. Results indicate a strong, positive association between managers’ discretion to recognise the goodwill impairment loss and the strength of corporate governance characteristics, especially the percentage of outside directors’ ownership. The evidence found in this study is consistent with prior literature showing that strong corporate governance constrained executive incentives in manager’s decisions to recognise goodwill impairment or not.