The paper assesses the value of the information contained in the accounting treatment for software development costs (SDC). The assessment is made in the context of the initial public offerings (IPO) market and is based on the effect of the accounting treatment on information asymmetry and hence IPO underpricing. We hypothesize that by sharing information about the probability of recoverability of SDCs and the amortization period, management that capitalizes SDC reduces information asymmetry and thus underpricing. The results, based on a sample of 390 IPOs in the software industry, are consistent with the hypothesis. The findings suggest that capitalization, through its information impact, lowers the cost of capital. Alternative interpretations of the findings are discussed as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)