Title: The mandatory adoption of IFRS on intangibles: upheaval or inertia? The case of France

Authors: Corinne Bessieux-Ollier; Marie Chavent; Vanessa Kuentz; Elisabeth Walliser

Addresses: GSCM – Montpellier Business School, Montpellier Research in Management (MRM), 2300 avenue des Moulins, 34 185 Montpellier Cedex 4, France. ' Mathematics Institute of Bordeaux, UFR Sciences et Modélisation, IMB et INRIA CQFD, Université de Bordeaux 2, case 35, Bat. D, 3 TER, place de la Victoire, 33000 Bordeaux, France. ' Cemagref, Unité ADBX 'Aménités et Dynamiques des Espaces Ruraux', 50 avenue de Verdun – Gazinet, 33612 CESTAS Cedex, France. ' Faculté d'Economie, Université Montpellier 1, Montpellier Research in Management (MRM) Rue Raymond Dugrand, CS 79606, 34960 Montpellier cedex 2, France

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of mandatory adoption of IFRS on intangibles in the French environment where firms were unable to develop |experience of international standards| before they became mandatory from 1 January 2005. The question we try to answer is the following: did the change of accounting standards concerning the intangibles lead to the upheaval announced in the French accounts or did it rather introduce a phenomenon of inertia on behalf of the firms trying to modify their financial statements at a minimal level? An innovative divisive hierarchical clustering method for firms was applied: the DIV method. The results indicate three clusters of firms, each affected differently by the transition. Only one cluster displays a significant change whereas the others are unaffected by the transition. The inertia phenomenon described by Nobes (2006), arguing that pre-IFRS accounting treatments could survive under IFRS, is thus confirmed.

Keywords: cluster analysis; France; intangibles; IFRS; transition; accounting standards; financial statements; hierarchical clustering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2012.043967

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2012 Vol.8 No.1, pp.91 - 113

Available online: 21 Nov 2011 *

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