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The impact of IFRS on the European Union: Is it related to the accounting tradition of the countries?

Susana Callao, Cristina Ferrer, José I. Jarne and José A. Laínez

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 2009, vol. 10, issue 1, 33-55

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of the this paper is to discover the quantitative impact of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on financial reporting of European countries and evaluate if this impact is connected with the traditional accounting system in which each country is classified, either the Anglo-Saxon or the continental-European accounting system. Design/methodology/approach - First, the authors quantify the IFRS impact on each country and make a comparative analysis of that impact among countries. Then, the authors apply a cluster analysis in order to group European countries on the basis of the different effects of IFRS application. Findings - The results obtained show that the first application of IFRS has had different effects on the financial reporting among countries. The cluster analysis identifies four groups which show that the impact of IFRS on financial statements of European firms is not related to traditional accounting systems. Originality/value - The main contribution of the paper is that it studies the impact of mandatory IFRS application for several European countries and shows a comparative analysis, grouping the countries on the basis of that impact. Previous literature mainly gathers research related to specific countries, individually considered, or to different IFRS effects that do not reflect quantitative impacts.

Keywords: Accounting; European Union; Financial reporting; Cluster analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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