Finanskrisens effekt på goodwill nedskrivninger

Ditte Lindhoff Knudsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The hypothesis in this study is that the financial crisis we have experienced the last four years has caused an increase in goodwill impairment since 2007. According to IAS 36 an impairment test should be performed when indicators of impairment arise and at least annually. Based on the development in the BNP from 2007 till third quarter 2011, which shows that the Danish economy has been in recession periodically and the changes and volatility in the stock market in this period I assumed that the indicators of impairment on goodwill would have been present. But the thesis shows a limited impairment in the examined companies. The examination of this hypothesis is based on an analysis of the Danish companies in the C20-index and it is the companies’ financial statements in the period which constitutes the data col-lection. The analysis shows, that 5 of 25 of the companies have had impairment losses in 2007 which increases to 6 of 26 2008 and 2009. In 2010 only 2 of 26 companies have had impair-ment and for the three first quarters of 2011 none impairment losses have been recognized. The hypothesis is therefore rejected and the thesis’ purpose is to determine which factors could be used to explain the development in the impairments. The analysis shows that the main part of the impairments recognized in the period is due to stra-tegic management decisions and the examination of the different parameters used in the im-pairment test is not significant changed as a consequence of the financial crisis. For instance, has the average discounting factor increased in the period when my expectation was that this had been declining or stable. This indicates that the analyzed companies have not changed the expectations for the future down warding. This is primarily because companies have not defined “the new normal” and therefore find it difficult to estimate the future cash flow adjusted this down warding trend. Another main explanation of the development is the allocation of goodwill to cash generating units. The allocation is performed at a high reporting level which leads to that the impact of the financial crisis cannot be observed. Previous studies shows that there exist a time lag between deterioration in the performance of the companies and the recognized impairment loss and my performed interviews with different analytics shows that they all expect impairment losses on goodwill in the future. This thesis con-cludes that the existence of present economic factors has not affected the impairment test sig-nificantly.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages112