Asset Revaluation: Management During the COVID-19 Crisis
Starting from the accounting advantages that a revaluation of fixed assets can generate in terms of strengthening the capital structure of firms, this paper illustrates that the management of small and medium-sized Italian companies, with low debt ratios, in times of crisis, can improve economic and financial performance through the use of this accounting tool.
In an accounting system such as the Italian one based on the valuation of assets according to the historical cost method, the revaluation granted by special laws allows management to strengthen the perception of the asset structure’s solidity without directly intervening on the capital in the event of losses.
The research was applied to the revaluation allowed in Italy in 2008. This was the time of the world market crisis, which permitted, like the last regulatory intervention issued during the COVID-19 emergency, a revaluation that was valid for civil law purposes only, without an obligation to a fiscal realignment. The results of this research show that management re-evaluates fixed assets to give a better representation of assets, specially before requesting loans from credit institutions. However, only companies that already had a healthy financial structure have obtained income benefits. Compared to companies that have not proceeded with a revaluation, this accounting concession has enabled a significant improvement in the profitability of companies. This is a relevant finding, especially in times of market crisis such as this COVID-19 pandemic in which it is necessary that healthy companies can overcome a temporary lack of liquidity and become competitive again.
Keywords: Asset revaluation, Accounting choice, Crisis, Earnings management, 2008 Global financial crisis, COVID-19.
Madonna S., Cestari G., Giuliani F. (2021). Asset revaluation: scelte manageriali in tempo di crisi, Management Control, 3, pp. 41-64. DOI:10.3280/MACO2021-003003.