The Value Relevance of Accounting Numbers Under International Financial Reporting Standards

Juana Aledo Martinez
Diego Abellan Martinez
Henghsiu Lin, University of Portland

Australian Accounting Review, Volume 24, Issue 3, 2014, 237-254

© 2014 CPA Australia

Linked version is final published version.

Abstract

We study the market reaction to the mandatory adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Spain by examining the value relevance of the information contained in the IFRS reconciliation adjustments in relation to the local generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The two-staged IFRS disclosure in the transition period is specific to Spain: the aggregated numbers of accounting differences are disclosed in stage 1, and the IFRS individual adjustments on book value of equity and earnings are disclosed in stage 2. This unique reporting timeline provides an opportunity for the market both to assess the impact of those new accounting policies adopted by firms and to assess differences when compared to the previous GAAP. We find no evidence of increased value relevance after IFRS adoption. However, our results from the incremental value relevance test show that investors consider the individual reconciliation adjustments in the second stage to be valuable and significant, specifically in relation to marked-to-market adjustment to financial instruments, adjustments to intangibles, provisions and impairment adjustments to property, plant and equipment, adjustments to inventories, and adjustments to pension benefits. Moreover, the results are significantly higher for low leverage firms. Our findings indicate that the market prices the informativeness of the reconciliation adjustments once the transition to IFRS disclosure cycle is complete.