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Accounting theory according to various authors including Ijiri (1975), Gaa (1988), Ruland (1989) supports the concept that accounting standards should serve the information needs of users. This paper examines the controversy in Australia surrounding accounting for goodwill and reports on a survey of shareholders in a large Australian public company. Alternative classifications of shareholders are examined to identify whether any classifications display an association with the choice of the preferred method of accounting for goodwill. The level of support for the accounting standard is also examined.

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