The value relevance and reliability of information provided with respect to non-current assets under Australian GAAP

Leroy Ruhupatty

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Following the introduction in 1999 of Australian Accounting Standard Board (AASB) 1041: 'Revaluations of Non-Current Assets' (Australian Accounting Standards Board 2001a), this study set out to examine the impact of the introduction of this new standard on: the number (percentage) of Australian firms revaluing various classes and submajor classes of non-current assets; and the value relevance and reliability of the information provided with respect to various sub-major classes of non-current assets. The study also set out to examine the apparent motivations for Australian companies electing the fair value (FV) basis, rather than the historic cost (HC) basis, for reporting property, plant and equipment (PP&E). The sample analysed in this study consisted of Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed firms that were included in each of the Connect4, Aspect Financial and Core Research Data (CRD) databases. After excluding firms not covered by all three databases and firms where there were missing data problems, 398 and 424 firms were left in the 1999 and 2002 samples, respectively. Of the 398 and 424 firms, there were 194 firms that were common to both sample periods and a separate analysis of these 'common' firms allowed a 'like-for-like' comparison to be made. The financial year ending June 30, 1999 provides data under the previous standard AASB 1010 (Australian Accounting Standards Board 2000) before the introduction of AASB 1041, while the financial year ending 30 June 2002 provides data under AASB 1041 (the new standard). ... At the disaggregated level (that is, for various sub-major classes of non-current assets), it appears that there was a decline in the number (percentage) of firms choosing to revalue investment property, property, and plant and equipment, while there was no change in the number (percentage) of firms choosing to revalue listed or unlisted investments. It appears that AASB 1041's requirement to revalue frequently when the FV basis was adopted discouraged firms from choosing the FV basis for some asset classes, presumably because the costs associated with frequent revaluations outweighed the perceived benefits. In terms of value relevance, the results suggest that where the variables of interest are scaled there was no improvement in the value relevance of the information provided by Australian companies following the introduction of AASB 1041. However, the results from the unscaled regressions do not support this conclusion and instead suggest that the introduction of AASB 1041 was associated with an overall improvement in the value relevance of the information provided with respect to the various sub-major classes of non-current assets investigated in this study. Resolution of this conflicting result is beyond the scope of this dissertation and is an issue worthy of future research. In terms of reliability, the results suggest that the introduction of AASB 1041 was generally associated with: an improvement in the reliability of information reported with respect to non-current assets reported at FV; and a deterioration in the reliability of information reported with respect to non-current assets reported at HC. Finally, with respect to the potential motivations behind a company's choice of the FV basis for reporting PP&E, the results suggest that firms are motivated to revalue PP&E to: improve their borrowing capacity; for signalling purposes; and to reduce information asymmetry.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2007

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