Does Accounting Quality Change Following a Switch from U.S. GAAP to IFRS? Evidence from Germany
38 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 12, 2012
This study examines whether accounting quality changed following a switch from U.S. GAAP to IFRS. Using a sample of German high tech firms that transitioned to IFRS from U.S. GAAP in 2005, we find that accounting numbers under IFRS generally exhibit more earnings management, less timely loss recognition, and less value relevance compared to those under U.S. GAAP. In addition, after analyzing the accounting quality of firms that applied IFRS throughout the entire sample period, we find that, for the metrics suggesting a decline in accounting quality for both groups of firms, the change is significantly more pronounced for firms switching to IFRS from U.S. GAAP. Overall, our findings indicate that the application of U.S. GAAP generally resulted in higher accounting quality than application of IFRS, and a transition from U.S. GAAP to IFRS reduced accounting quality. Our findings provide the first evidence on the potential consequences of a switch from U.S. GAAP to IFRS.
Keywords: IFRS, US GAAP, Germany
JEL Classification: M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation