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Four Papers on Top Management's Capital Budgeting and Accounting Choices in Practice
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies. Uppsala universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5043-6289
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes to an understanding of capital budgeting and accounting practice. The factors affecting practice are of special research interest. It is also investigated whether practice diverges from what is prescribed by finance text books and accounting standards/frameworks. The overarching research question posed in this thesis is: “What capital budgeting and accounting choices are made by top management in practice, and how can these choices be explained?”. The thesis consists of four papers that address this issue.

The first two papers focused on capital budgeting choices. Findings emphasised that the use of sophisticated capital budgeting and cost of capital estimation methods such as NPV and CAPM was widespread in Swedish listed companies. However, also unsophisticated accounting based methods were employed. Overall, findings suggested that Swedish companies used capital budgeting and cost of capital estimation techniques less often than did U.S./continental European companies. Other interesting findings were changes over time. Over time, the use of sophisticated methods increased and the use of unsophisticated methods decreased. This indicated a closing of the theory-practice gap. Finally, size was generally positively related to more extensive use of methods.

The last two papers focused on accounting choices. Findings showed that non-preparers supported amortisation of goodwill to a greater extent than did preparers. Preparers instead supported the goodwill impairment-only approach. It was suggested that economic consequences could explain why preparers supported the goodwill impairment-only approach. When the impairment-only approach subsequently was introduced by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Swedish and Dutch preparers however only disclosed slightly more than 60% of the assumptions underlying the impairment test, after three years of learning. Moreover, findings showed that the level of compliance with the IASB’s disclosure requirements was associated with industry; financials were less compliant than were non-financials. Findings also showed that Swedish and Dutch companies were more compliant in 2008 than they were in 2005, which suggested learning over time. Finally, in 2005 the disclosure compliance level was higher in Sweden than in the Netherlands. Three years later, 2008, the difference was eliminated, thus indicating convergence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2012. , 43 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 153
Keyword [en]
Capital budgeting method, cost of capital estimation, accounting choice, goodwill, disclosure compliance
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12921Libris ID: 13525339OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-12921DiVA: diva2:552937
Public defence
2012-10-03, Hörsal 2, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, 753 13 UPPSALA, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-09-17 Created: 2012-09-17 Last updated: 2016-10-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Use of Capital Budgeting and Cost of Capital Estimation Methods in Swedish Listed Companies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Use of Capital Budgeting and Cost of Capital Estimation Methods in Swedish Listed Companies
2012 (English)In: Journal of Applied Business Research, ISSN 0892-7626, Vol. 28, no 6, 1451-1476 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract: In this paper Swedish listed companies’ use of capitalbudgeting and cost of capital estimation methods in 2005 and 2008 areexamined. The relation between company characteristics and choice ofmethods is investigated and both within-country longitudinal and crosscountrycomparisons are made. No particular independent variable isfound to have driven a majority of the results. In 2005 size and industryseem to have been most important, but in 2008 there were fewerassociations between those two independent variables and the practicalemployment of methods. The results suggest that, between the 1960s and2008, use of NPV increased while payback and the internal rate of returndeclined. Moreover, between 2005 and 2008 the use of a single companywide discount rate for foreign investments declined. In 2005 the mostcommon method for establishing the cost of equity was by asking theinvestors what return they required. By 2008 CAPM was instead themost utilised method, which could indicate greater sophistication.Overall, the use of sophisticated capital budgeting and cost of capitalestimation methods seem to be rising and the use of less sophisticatedmethods declining. The use of methods was generally less extensive inSweden than in the U.S. and continental Europe.

Keyword
Capital budgeting
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12820 (URN)
Available from: 2012-09-17 Created: 2012-09-07 Last updated: 2017-09-06Bibliographically approved

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