unilever explains that these charges relate in many cases to plant closings and empl 614228
There is evidence that extreme forms of conservatism were practiced for many years by non-U.S. companies, and that specific-country reporting rules in some cases actually encouraged intentional understatements of earnings and assets as well as overstatements of obligations. While such practices are more difficult now that IFRS is being used, many believe that the additional discretion available to management under IFRS, relative to U.S. GAAP, is still used to reduce reported earnings, especially in high-performing years. Consider, for example, Unilever (see financial statements at the end of Chapter 2), which booked a special expense in each of fiscal 2007, 2008, and 2009 (called restructuring), totaling over 2.5 billion euros. In the footnotes, Unilever explains that these charges relate in many cases to plant closings and employee layoffs that will be implemented in the future. Comment.