The Introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards in the European Union
Posted: 16 Mar 2005
The introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the EU is obviously an unusually important event for accounting, accountants and accounting researchers, and naturally European Accounting Review has been very keen in devoting this special issue to the topic. It will be a fascinating subject and opportunity for research in the years to come. In some ways it has been difficult for those involved in the various projects included in this issue as we are attempting to analyse something that is yet to happen. Not surprisingly the papers incorporate rather less empirical evidence than would normally be the case. However this has lead to diversity in research approaches, which we find interesting.
Three papers, from the eighteen submitted, survived the review process. Van Tendeloo and Vanstraelen (2005) use the early adoption of IFRS by many German companies to investigate the impact of IFRS on earnings management. Brown and Tarca (2005) employ interviews to analyse different approaches being adopted in four EU countries to deal with enforcement of IFRS. Pirinen (2005) conducts a historical analysis to review the forces that have impacted on the move towards IFRS in Finland. In addition to these we invited papers from Katherine Schipper and Geoffrey Whittington. Whilst they are both experienced academics, and their contributions reflect their own views not those of their organisations, their positions working within the FASB and the IASB respectively allows them particularly useful insights into the process. Whittington (2005) gives an overview about the activities of the IASB, focusing on the past and present, while Schipper (2005) looks more into the future and analyses the implications of the adoption of IFRS in the EU for international convergence (in other words with US GAAP).
We will take this opportunity to pick up on three themes that seem to be particularly important. The first refers to convergence, something that is crucial in the analysis by both Schipper (2005) and Whittington (2005). The second concerns enforcement, which is relevant to at least four out of the five papers we include. And the third point we would like to address is the research opportunities and difficulties presented by the move to IFRS in the EU.
Keywords: IFRS, European Union
JEL Classification: M41, M44, M47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation