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Goodwill and Mandatory Disclosure Compliance: A Critical Review of the Literature

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Australian Accounting Review

Published online on


The aim of this paper is to critically analyse the literature published from 2002 to mid‐2015 on disclosures of goodwill and their respective impairment tests; identify the main contributions of the literature, as well as its limitations; and suggest new approaches for future research. We also present a summary of the main determinants of disclosures on goodwill in the literature as well as the still scarce studies’ conclusions of those disclosures in the market. After a review of the literature, we discuss the need to reinforce enforcement mechanisms, so as to improve the level of compliance of disclosures on goodwill and their impairment tests. The majority of the analysed literature reveals that the information disclosed about goodwill is incomplete and largely heterogeneous, indicating a reduced level of compliance with the disclosures required by accounting standards. The paper may support the development of future empirical studies about goodwill's disclosures, which will bridge the identified gaps in the literature.