Publication Details

Wang, J. & Hooper, K. (2015). Recognition and disclosure of impairment in China. Corporate Ownership and Control, 12 (1), 709-716.


This paper aims to examine the extent of goodwill impairment in listed companies of China and the audited disclosure of goodwill. China is an important adopter of International Financial Standards but the question remains that, as a recent adopter, to what extent contentious issues such as goodwill impairment are implemented. The research analyzes the financial and share market information gathered from the top 50 companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The findings reveal that goodwill amortization has been discontinued and replaced by goodwill impairment, but interestingly the Big Four firms seem more likely to recognize a goodwill impairment loss than smaller, local audit firms. This would imply that the Big Four Western audit firms with a plethora of clients are less likely to be intimidated by Chinese managers into ignoring impairment than small local firms, which may be more dependent on these large Chinese corporations for their existence. However, findings indicate that negative financial and share market information show some correlation with goodwill impairment where impairment occurs. The most significant finding is that the analysis reveals that there remains a wider problem with adequate disclosure in the notes to the accounts as to whether and why goodwill should be impaired or not.

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