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The impact of national GAAP and accounting traditions on IFRS policy selection: Evidence from Germany and the UK

Axel Haller and Martin Wehrfritz

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 2013, vol. 22, issue 1, 39-56

Abstract: The adoption of IFRS in the European Union in 2005 aimed to increase the comparability of publicly traded companies’ consolidated accounts. However, previous literature questions whether IFRS are applied consistently across countries with differing institutional environments, and therefore, whether de facto harmony has been achieved. We further examine this question by investigating IFRS accounting policy choices of listed companies in Germany and the UK between 2005 and 2009. We find that most firms, when choosing IFRS options, tend to retain accounting policies required by national rules. We also investigate national accounting traditions in the case of options under national GAAP and find that most companies continue these after adopting IFRS. Moreover, there appears to be little significant change in accounting choices over time from 2005 to 2009. Given the differences in accounting rules and practices that exist across countries, our results suggest that international differences in financial reporting are likely to continue under IFRS.

Keywords: IFRS; Accounting practice; Policy choice; Germany; UK; Comparability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2013.02.003

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