Analyst Characteristics and the Level of Critical Perception of Goodwill Accounting

Jani Saastamoinen, Hannu Ojala, Kati Pajunen, Pontus Troberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAustralian Accounting Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)538-555
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 21.12.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management


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