An Analysis of the Impact of Adopting IFRS 8 on the Segment Disclosures of European Blue Chip Companies
Journal of Internal Accounting, Auditing and Taxation 21 (2012) 79-105
27 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2013
Amidst the IASB’s post-implementation review of IFRS 8, we examine how the standard’s adoption changed the reporting of segments by European blue chips (i.e. companies comprising the top tier index of 14 European stock exchanges). We focus on anticipated benefits articulated in the IASB’s Basis for Conclusions and concerns expressed by IFRS 8 opponents.
In addition to convergence with U.S. GAAP, IFRS 8 results in the reporting of significantly more operating segments on average. However, most companies report the same number or fewer segments. Refuting claims regarding the loss of geographic data at the entity-wide level, we identify an improvement in the fineness of disclosures and a significant increase in the disclosure of geographic groupings. We do not identify an improvement in consistency of segment disclosures with other sections of the annual report, which is due to the consistency already achieved under IAS 14R.
IFRS 8 results in a significant decline in the number of reportable segment information items (notably liabilities) and a significant decline in the reporting of capital expenditures at the entity-wide level. Furthermore, adoption of the standard produces a lack of comparability in segment profitability measures and extensive reporting of non-IFRS measures. However, almost all companies report a measure of segment profitability tied to a number on the consolidated income statement or reconciled to the income statement.
Keywords: IFRS 8, segment reporting, IASB post-implementation review, SFAS 131, convergence
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