The Role of International Financial Reporting Standards in Accounting Quality: Evidence from the European Union
Shanghai Maritime University
University of Western Sydney
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Hong Kong Baptist University
June 10, 2010
Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, Vol. 21, No. 3, Autumn 2010
Previous studies on the effect of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on accounting quality often have difficulties to control for confounding factors on accounting quality. As a result, the observed changes in accounting quality could not be attributed mainly to IFRS. We use a unique research setting to address this issue by comparing the accounting quality of publicly listed companies in 15 member states of the European Union before and after the full adoption of IFRS in 2005. We use five indicators as proxies for accounting quality. We find that the majority of accounting quality indicators improved after IFRS adoption in the European Union. That is, there is less of managing earnings towards a target, a lower magnitude of absolute discretionary accruals, and higher accruals quality. But our results also show that firms engage in more earnings smoothing and recognize large losses in a less timely manner in post-IFRS periods. In addition, we examine the effects of institutional variables on financial reporting quality. Our contribution to the literature is that we show the improved accounting quality is attributable to IFRS, rather than changes in managerial incentives, institutional features of capital markets, and general business environment, etc.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 58
Keywords: IFRS adoption, accounting quality, the European Union, International Convergence of Accounting Standards
JEL Classification: M41, M44, M47, G15, G38
Date posted: January 20, 2009 ; Last revised: January 2, 2011
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