Lobbying on Accounting Standards: Evidence from IFRS 2 on Share-Based Payments
47 Pages Posted: 31 May 2012
Date Written: May 29, 2012
Lobbying is an essential part of the IASB standard-setting process. There is still much to learn, however, about key aspects of the roles played and arguments employed by various constituents when lobbying practices do occur. This paper focuses on the regulation of share-based payments. As these transactions were under-regulated before IFRS 2, we expect that the strong debate that occurred during the 1990s resulted in conflicting opinions when this standard was under discussion. To analyze lobbying behavior and assess its influence on the IASB’s decision making, we conducted a content analysis of 539 letters addressing the documents issued by the G4 1 and the IASB preceding IFRS 2. Consistent with the rational-choice model, our analysis of lobbying activity shows that preparers constituted the most active group, particularly when the IASB started the project, whereas participation of standard-setters increased at the end, which is more consistent with institutional theory. A common strategy was to provide arguments merely on points of disagreement. Preparers and consultants constituted the only groups using economic-consequences arguments to disagree, but later enlisted conceptual arguments as well. The IASB considered only conceptual arguments, and no interested party had a dominant influence.
Keywords: Lobbying, Comment letters, Share-based payments, Due process, Standard setting
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