While inputs used in analysts’ valuation models have been documented (Brown et al. 2015), it has not been studied how analysts’ personal characteristics are associated with their level of critical perception regarding agency conflict manifested in published financial statements. This is important because analysts are, to some extent, substitutes for industry‐specialised auditors in monitoring financial reporting (e.g., Sun and Liu 2011). To address this shortcoming, we investigate analysts’ level of critical perception concerning current goodwill accounting standards, which provide significant reporting latitude. We use data from a survey of Nordic financial analysts and examine this data with statistical methods, including factor analysis and structural equation modelling. We find two latent constructs, one which reflects a critical attitude to the current goodwill accounting standards and one which reflects an uncritical attitude to the current standards. Our structural equation model suggests that having a background in auditing, as well as general experience and exposure to different industries, is associated with a higher degree of critical perception of current standards. In contrast, having a basic (low) level of formal business (accounting) education is associated with a more uncritical perception than having a high level of education.
- 512 Business and Management