Until 2007 companies using IFRS with securities traded on the U.S. stock exchanges were required to include a statement that reconciled IFRS-based net income and shareholders’ equity with U.S. GAAP-based net income and shareholders’ equity in their Form 20-F filings with the SEC. These reconciliations provided useful information to analysts wanting to compare the financial performance of companies using IFRS to companies using U.S. GAAP. Nokia, the well-known communication company based in Finland, reported such reconciliations from 1994 to 2006. Some of the more significant items listed on the reconciliation included development costs and impairments. Over the 12-year period 1994–2006, for example, the accumulated adjustment (in millions of euros) from IFRS-based income to U.S. GAAP-based income was -102 and -47 for development costs and impairments of intangible assets (not including goodwill), respectively.
Discuss the differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP with respect to long-lived asset accounting, and comment on how these differences could lead to the adjustments for development costs and impairments reported by Nokia.
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