Globalization has been changing the world. It has interconnected people, nations, and even businesses. Today´s business can share information to investors around the world thanks to the intelligent software of the actual society. Being more specific, the way in which investors and users evaluate businesses performance is through the information contemplated in their financial statements. These financial statements illustrate the current assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity a company has in order to help users take economic decisions. However, not all the companies are regulated to provide the same structuralized information around the world. Each country possesses its own accounting standard that regulates the preparation of financial statements of a company. In that way, companies’ information might differ between countries making the comparability between financial statements difficult to be implemented by users in order to assess the performance of foreign businesses. In view of the need of a globally accepted accounting standard that promotes uniform standards for worldwide financial reporting, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), which then becomes replaced by the International Accounting Standard Board in 2001, was created (Cathey and Schroeder 130). The IASB issues International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that stands as the set of accounting standards that prepare and present the financial
Despite those enormous advantages, it has been argued that IFRSS adoption lead to significant costs. The main argument is that IFRSs do not consider local needs and priorities as every country has their own ‘business environment, legal systems, cultures, language and political environment’ (Henderson and Peirson, 2000 cited from Malthus, S., 2004). However, to overcome this problem, IASB can accommodate flexible reporting standards that enable companies to choose alternatives that are more suitable for their external condition. It is opinion of some opponents of IFRS adoption that IAS is ‘insufficiently detailed’ (Uddin,M.S., 2005, p.4) that require accountants’ and auditor’ professional judgment. However, overly detail might be contra productive and not flexible in anticipating every changes and differences.
As the responsibilities of the global harmonization of accounting standards IFRS and GAAP transfer to IASB, FASB’s influence is waning. Advantages of the convergence include high quality financial reporting, which lowers cost of capital for investors and the cost of borrowing for companies. However, there are disadvantages to be noted, such as the costs of introducing IFRS to current and potential accountants and the risk of reducing the uniformity of financial reports due to the lax rulings of IFRS, which promotes earnings management amongst companies. Although arguments regarding the convergence remain prevalent, the completion of IFRS and GAAP is inevitable. Come year 2015, accountants, investors, and companies alike will discover whether or not the pros outweighed the cons; or vice versa.
UK’s IFRSs are designed to make it easier to compare the performance of organizations in different countries, rather than each country maintaining its own GAAP, which makes such comparisons difficult. All listed EU companies have been required to use IFRSs since 2005. The adoption of IFRSs by the private sector is expected to have various benefits for both companies and investors; including (1) UK’s IFRSs will remove the need for companies with foreign subsidiaries to translate the accounts for consolidation with the parent company accounts. Also (2) it will be easier for investors to make informed decisions about the performance of companies in different countries because of the increased transparency and a better understanding of financial statements.
With the growth of international business there is a need to standardize financial statements globally. Presently there are “approximately 120 foreign private issuers currently that report to the Commission using IFRS financial statements.” By standardizing accounting practices investors will be able to make informed decisions based on comparability and accuracy of financial statements. The SEC released this statement in 2008, “We believe that IFRS has the potential to best provide the common platform on which companies can report and investors can compare financial information.” The SEC has created a “Roadmap” or plan to convert US GAAP over to IFRS. According to The Committee of
For nearly half a century, a movement has been underway to establish a high-quality, comprehensive set of international accounting standards, with the goal of facilitating international trade and investment. In the global capital market, differences in the rules of accounting for the purposes of recognition, measurement, and reporting of financial results have impaired the smooth transfer of information across borders. Given that it accounts for nearly a third of the global market, there is considerable pressure for the United States to conform to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). While moving to a single set of accounting standards could create
But there a certain limit of flexibility of this international standards for cover with all the differences accounting standard or accounting practices in between country. The IFRS is to increase the comparability of annual financial reports no matter oversea or domestic. This only can be success when the new set of accounting standard published by IFRS and adopting by country when only the cultural, economics, politics and other factors within the country change (Chen, 2009).
International comparability of financial statements attracts capital from foreign investors and reduces the barriers to cross-border capital flows. When international accounting standard replace domestic accounting standard, corporate discourse is reduced. This enables investors to monitor managerial performance better because information asymmetry is reduced. IFRS adoption made it easier for companies in U.K to access the capital markets (Lee, 2008).
The article is showing the relationship between IFRS adoption and the effect on the quality of the information in low investor protection countries. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is a set of accounting standards, developed and maintained by a not-for-profit organisation which is called International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) (http://www.ifrs.org/About-us/Pages/What-are-IFRS.aspx). The purpose of IFRS is to provide a global framework and also a general guideline to all firms such as public companies, so that they can prepare and disclose their financial statement globally. It is interpreted as it can provide the investors and other users (internal and external users) with financial statement that has ability to be compared with other company either within countries or overseas (http://www.ifrs.org/About-us/Pages/What-are-IFRS.aspx // http://searchsecurity.techtarget.co.uk/definition/IFRS-International-Financial-Reporting-Standards). It also uniting the capital market under one common reporting language and this would lead to produce high quality financial reporting across the world (ball,2006). This article has included 3 countries which in the low investor protection countries such as France, Germany and Sweden, in order to examine the effect of IFRS adoption on information quality. Besides, the three countries have different
The high number of adopting IFRS nations emphasizes its importance and its advantages. In fact, the quality of accounting in the organizations that apply IFRS is higher than the organizations that don’t apply IFRS (Barth, Landsman & Lang, 2008) where they make comparisons in a 21 nations companies’ sample. So, it can be said that IFRS have an advantage of increasing the quality of accounting in the firms and organizations. Moreover, there is a good relation between IFRS adoption and the firm value (Karamanou & Nisgiotis, 2009). since this study examined firms after changing from the domestic system into the IFRS adoption and it is founded that firm obtain untypical returns after applying IFRS, it means
With complete notion and awareness of how each country has their set of rules, “the goal of IFRS is to provide a global framework for how public companies prepare and disclose their financial statements” (Rouse, 2011). This view is meant to provide general guidelines, as well as international comparisons through conventional and edifying means. To bring broader and vivid objectives, IFRS replaced IAS, the older standards, in order to bring a more comprehensive and simplified accounting procedures.
According to Alexander et al. (2011), stakeholders around the world uses information from financial statements in their decision-making process for many different purposes and it is almost the same on how they use the information in every country. However, there can be differences on the communication that information when different types accounting standards are used. Ball defines that “IFRS are accounting rules (‘standards’) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), an independent organisation based in London, UK” (2006, p6). Therefore, they are set of rules where public companies globally should apply to when producing financial reporting. This essay will be looking further into how local institutional and economic factors influence arise with uniform standards while preparing financial reporting in different countries. Based on the findings, this essay will conclude that it is possible to produce uniform financial reporting with uniform standards with some changes to the current IFRS.
In 2002 the European Union agreed that from January 2005 international accounting standards/international financial reporting standards (IASs/IFRSs) would apply for the consolidated accounts of the EU listed companies (Barth, Landsman, and Lang, 2008). Starting from 2005, IAS/IFRS adoption has been mandatory in all the member states of the European Union with the ultimate goal of increasing transparency in financial reporting. This adoption of IAS/IFRS therefore represents an extraordinary event for empirical research because evidence shows that the mandatory adoption of IAS/IFRS in Europe results in better quality of financial reporting. In fact, empirical studies provide some support to the notion that adopting IAS/IFRS improves the quality of financial reporting and of public information (Palea, 2013).
Esptein (2009), emphasized the fact that universal financial reporting standards will increase market liquidity, decrease transaction costs for investors, lower cost of capital and facilitate international capital formation and flows, various studies conducted on the adoption of IFRS at country level indicated that countries that adopted IFRS experienced huge increases in direct foreign investment (DFI) flows across countries (Irvine and Lucas, 2006). Cai & Wong (2010),in a study of global capital markets demonstrated that capital markets of countries that had adopted IFRS recorded high degree of integration among them after their IFRS adoption compared with the period before adoption. In a study on financial data of public listed companies in 15 member states of the European Union (EU) before and after full adoption of IFRS in 2005, Chai at al (2010), found that majority of accounting quality indicators improved after IFRS adoption in the EU.