The Impairment of Assets in the Australian Context

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AASB 136 Impairment of Assets has broad application across firms and is likely to be the most problematic accounting standard currently applying to the preparation of financial reports in Australia. So much so that ‘impairment of assets’ is identified annually by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in its listing of financial reporting issues requiring attention (ex-ante) as well as its listing of financial reporting problems identified (ex-post). The persistent concern is asset impairments are not recognised on a timely basis. The focus of this thesis is on three aspects of asset impairment. First, whether there are economic consequences arising from asset impairments not being recognised on a timely basis. Second, determining the extent to which asset impairments contribute to ‘conditional conservatism’. Third, whether asset impairments are relevant to the evaluation of firm performance.
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