The growing interest in the issue of intangible assets not only in the scientific community but also in some professional bodies internationally can be explained by several points of view. From the business perspective, enterprises are increasingly motivated by external and internal forces to measure and proactively manage their intangibles. With respect to the issue of intangibles, goodwill has been debated in many countries throughout the world. Despite the numerous efforts and the existence of international accounting standards there is not yet a common accepted accounting treatment for goodwill. This study attempts on the one hand to impress the accounting treatment of goodwill internationally, on the other hand analyses the major subjects in relation to the accounting treatment of goodwill in Greece, since 2005, year where the international accounting standards have been in use for the Greek listed companies. The results indicate that the accounting treatment for the goodwill in Greece, despite the effort for accounting harmonization in Europe from 2005, sustains many differences especially for the no listed companies.
The main thrust of this paper is to assess the level of disclosure in the annual reports of non-financial Greek firms and to empirically investigate the hypothesized impact of several firm characteristics on the extent of mandatory disclosure. A disclosure checklist consisting of 100 mandatory items was developed to assess the level of disclosure in the 2009 annual reports of 43 Greek companies listed at the Athens stock exchange. The association between the level of disclosure and some firm characteristics was examined using multiple linear regression analysis. The study reveals that Greek companies on general have responded adequately to the mandatory disclosure requirements of the regulatory bodies. The findings also indicate that firm size was significant positively associated with the level of disclosure. The remaining variables such as age, profitability, liquidity, and board composition were found to be insignificant in explaining the variation of mandatory disclosures. The outcome of this study is undoubtedly of great concern to the investment community at large to assist in evaluating the extent of mandatory disclosure by Greek firms and explaining the variation of disclosure in light of firm-specific characteristics.