This paper reviews the literature on the effects of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption. It aims to provide a cohesive picture of empirical archival literature on how IFRS adoption affects: financial reporting quality, capital markets, corporate decision making, stewardship and governance, debt contracting, and auditing. In addition, we also present discussion of studies that focus on specific attributes of IFRS, and also provide detailed discussion of research design choices and empirical issues researchers face when evaluating IFRS adoption effects. We broadly summarize the development of the IFRS literature as follows: The majority of early studies paint IFRS as bringing significant benefits to adopting firms and countries in terms of (i) improved transparency, (ii) lower costs of capital, (iii) improved cross-country investments, (iv) better comparability of financial reports, and (v) increased following by foreign analysts. However, these documented benefits tended to vary significantly across firms and countries. More recent studies now attribute at least some of the earlier documented benefits to factors other than adoption of new accounting standards per se, such as enforcement changes. Other recent studies examining the effects of IFRS on the inclusion of accounting numbers in formal contracts point out that IFRS has lowered the contractibility of accounting numbers. Finally, we observe substantial variation in empirical designs across papers which makes it difficult to reconcile differences in their conclusions.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2016
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