This thesis researches the balance sheet item goodwill, its valuation and accompanying disclosure. The paper deals with the calculation and constitution of goodwill, the aim of the valuation concept impairment and the corresponding accounting rules according to IAS/IFRS. This introduction is followed by the main part of the paper, an empirical study. Purpose of the study is to analyze the impact of the current economic downturn on the recoverability of goodwill. Furthermore, the compliance with disclosure requirements according to IAS 36 of a selected group of listed corporations in German-speaking countries is reviewed. To answer the research questions of this paper the book value of goodwill as well as the recognized impairments in 2008 are documented and analyzed. The disclosure compliance is then measured by means of a disclosure index study. The results show that the value of goodwill in the sample turned out to be less impaired than expected by experts. The anticipated goodwill impairment wave could not be verified which rejects the hypothesis of a relation between business cycle and recoverability. Besides the absolute amounts, also the relative degree of impairments does not meet the expectations concerning the extent of depreciation amounts. Regarding disclosure compliance, the results show that the Austrian companies in the sample could definitely enhance their disclosure behavior. In contrast, companies listed on stock exchanges in Germany and Switzerland published more precise and exhaustive information in the notes of their financial statements. A reason for country-specific differences might be the presence of public supervisory authorities such as the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel in Germany which increase the pressure on companies for being completely transparent. A relation between the disclosure compliance could not be identified neither for the recognition of impairments in the year of review nor for the size of the enterprises.