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A reinvestigation into accounting quality following global IFRS adoption: Evidence via earnings distributions

Madeline Trimble

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 2018, vol. 33, issue C, 18-39

Abstract: Despite over 140 countries adopting IFRS in some form, its effect on accounting quality remains unclear. Potential explanations for divergent findings in the literature include the focus on a narrow sample of EU countries and the use of noisy discretionary accrual models to measure accounting quality. This study circumvents these issues by investigating the impact mandatory IFRS adoption has on accounting quality using earnings distributions. Using a sample of 5691 firms in 46 countries that have adopted IFRS, I find that while the distribution discontinuity does not completely disappear, it decreases in severity for both a total and a constant sample of firms. Results are consistent for both EU and non-EU countries and are more pronounced for countries with high enforcement and where users' demand for high quality reporting is high. Furthermore, I investigate the level of discretionary accruals and real earnings management around the earnings benchmark and conclude that a systematic relationship cannot be found for either method pre- or post-IFRS adoption.

Keywords: IFRS; Earnings distributions; Discontinuities; Accounting quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2018.09.001

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