A study for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) reviewed the financial statements of 527 firms domiciled in 15 countries that report under IFRS. The study found that, particularly in a few countries, disclosure is insufficient to understand and compare financial statements on important topics that involve management judgment and discretion. Among other problems, many instances were found of:
- Impairment charges mixed in with depreciation/amortization;
- Impairment of PPE mixed in with that of other types of assets;
- Impairments netted against reversals;
- Capitalized development costs mixed with other intangible assets; and
- Lack of disclosure of the year’s R&D expense.
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