The relevance of goodwill accounting and disclosure practice in Vietnam

Nguyen, T
Rahman, A
Nguyen, L
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Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.

This study examines goodwill and goodwill reporting practices of 69 Vietnamese firms reporting goodwill in their balance sheet over a five year period, 2008-2012. In contrast to the general view that investors in emerging countries are less likely to use accounting numbers due to their lack of knowledge and expertise, the market association test in this study shows that goodwill and its amortization are empirically relevant for market equity valuation. However, further critical analysis regarding to the extent of disclosure on this specific intangible assets reveals a bundle of irreconcilable issues as the amortization policies and goodwill write-off policies are vague. Accompanied with the poor and diversified level of compliance, it suggests that the purpose of goodwill disclosures by most groups in Hochiminh Stock Exchange are likely to meet the reporting requirements, rather than to provide useful information to financial statement users. Overall, the study substantiates that local investors prioritize recognition over disclosure: market valuations seems to be solely based on the accounting figures recognized on the face of balance sheet and other M&A announcement – rather than on the disclosed information about this item.

IFRS; Goodwill accounting; Financial reporting; Value relevance; Disclosure; Vietnamese Accounting standards
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