Finanskrisen og Goodwill: De regnskabsmæssige konsekvenser for goodwill i Island og Danmark som følge af finanskrisen i 2008

Björg Kristjánsdóttir

Student thesis: Master thesis


On 1 January 2005, all Danish and Icelandic stock companies were to follow the international accounting standards set by IFRS in preparation of the group‟s annual rapport. This meant that the acquisition method was to be used when buying other companies. Thus, goodwill is presented as an increased value an acquirer is willing to offer for an acquiree. The increased value is offered as it is assumed that the cash flow from the acquiree generates more value than the book value.
The financial crisis of 2008 hit Icelandic particulary hard. Studies have shown that goodwill was a big reason to why Iceland was severely affected. This was especially the case for goodwill that existed because of reverse leveraged buyouts. In addition, there were indications that this method (among others) had been used to manipulate goodwill with the result so that goodwill is to be overvalued in companies‟ annual reports. Based on the empirical data select Danish and Icelandic companies‟ annual reports and the recommendations provided by experts, this thesis attempts to establish the impact of the financial crisis on accounting practices concerning goodwill.
An analysis will be conducted on select companies in Denmark and Iceland in order to ascertain if there have been made any impairments in this regard, namely the signifance of the crisis in relation to these impairments. This thesis will surmise that the Icelandic companies had been critisised for not making any or enough impairments on their goodwill during and after the crises.
Additionaly, the study of select companies will illustrate that there were a noticable methological difference between the Danish and Icelandic companies‟ practices in calculating impairments of goodwill.
Finally, this thesis will explain the changes in Danish and Icelandic laws on goodwill and a comparison of these will be analysied in order to find out how the crisis has influenced these legal changes, and the legal framework has been limited or relaxed.
This thesis will conclude that the financial crisis affected Icelandic companies to a higher degree than their Danish counterparts, namely due to the fact that the latter were less influenced by the crisis in regards to their treatment of goodwill.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages99