Accounting in Europe

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1744-9480
Publications
Article
Our paper analyzes the current financial crisis starting with some recent developments and reactions in the field of accounting. We find that involved parties within the financial system naturally look for a “scapegoat” instead of dealing with reality. Moreover, they try to avoid regulations that would reflect their current financial position and performance. Meanwhile, what reality reveals us is that we are dealing with a crisis of value, or better said valuation, framed by significant changes of paradigms. Starting with thoughts and reactions within trade literature and financial environment, we analyze some mechanisms of credit derivatives that propagated the crisis within the global financial system. Finally, we prove our point in defending fair value accounting and identify key aspects that allow future improvements. The need for informational transparency is emphasized through the whole paper.
 
Tax linkage in material arenas of financial reporting in Spain
are counted equally for the purposes of Table 3. We follow Lamb et al. in
Unlike the equivalent table in Lamb et al., we have separated Case III and
Article
The degree of connection between tax and financial reporting is regarded as a key factor in the study of international accounting differences. The position for Spain is briefly outlined in previous research but without examination of any specific accounting issues except, in outline only, depreciation and the tax-free revaluation of assets from 1977 to 1983. The absence of a detailed study of the major tax/accounting linkages for Spain is of particular importance because the relationship is regarded as having changed dramatically in the early 1990s, from a position of tax dominance. In order to measure the links between tax and financial reporting, we adopt the methodology of Lamb et al. (1998) by assessing major accounting topics using a five-case classification shown as Table 1. We refute the proposition that suggests that the link between tax/accounting has been reduced substantially.
 
Article
After the fall of communism, Romanian accounting has undergone several waves of reform. The first began with the 1991 Accounting Law and its 1993 Regulations implementing a French-inspired accounting chart and guidelines. The second wave of reform produced Regulations (in 1999 and 2001) for the harmonization of large entities' accounting with EU accounting directives and International Accounting Standards/International Financial Reporting Standards (IAS/IFRS). An interesting feature was the inclusion of IASB's conceptual framework into the text of these Regulations. Our study seeks to identify and evaluate the costs of harmonizing Romanian accounting with international regulations (EU Directives and IAS/IFRS). We hypothesize that three types of costs are prevalent: personnel training costs, consultants' fees and costs to adjust existing information systems. We also hypothesize that harmonization benefits are noticeable for those entities that make frequent use of foreign finance and for those entities with majority foreign shareholders. To collect data, we sent out questionnaires to the finance directors of listed Romanian companies. As full application of IAS/IFRS by non-financial companies has recently been postponed until 2007, we also comment on the benefits and costs of gradual reforms as opposite to a one-step adoption of IAS/IFRS.
 
Article
The paper sets out to analyse the effects of the financial crisis on the international standard-setter in 2008 and the attempts made to shoot the messenger - to blame IAS 39 for creating the crisis for reporting unrealised losses, rather than the cause being bankers making bad investment decisions. It first provides a brief analysis of IAS 39 and fair value accounting for financial instruments. It then sets out the relationship with the Basel II banking regulatory regime. The main part of the paper is a chronological presentation of the events of 2008 as they impact upon the international standard-setting institution. In particular, we analyse the impact of the G20 requirements and the blunt intervention of the European Commission that led to amendments to IAS 39. The final part of the paper looks at the consequences as they are so far discernible and the damage done to the IASB by shooting the messenger. oui
 
Article
In response to the financial crisis, the IASB issued on 13 October 2008 an amendment to IAS 39 which enables entities to reclassify non-derivative financial assets held for trading and financial assets available-for-sale. This paper examines the influence of this controversial amendment on the financial statements 2008 of 219 European banks which apply IFRS. I find that approximately one-third of the sample banks have taken extensive advantage of these reclassification opportunities. The mean reclassification amount is 3.9% of total assets and 131% of the book value of equity, respectively. I further document that reclassifying banks avoid substantial fair value losses, and hence, report significant higher levels of return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE), book value of equity, and regulatory capital. In particular, the mean ROE switches signs from a negative ROE of –1.4% to a positive ROE of 1.3% due to gains from reclassifications. Overall, this paper documents a substantial impact of the amendments on banks’ financial statements and suggests analysing these reclassifications with particular caution.
 
Article
The article presents information on characteristics of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Europe. The aspect of the International Accounting Standard Board's (IASB) "Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements" is the starting point for staff papers analysing accounting issues. The IASB believes that it is fulfilling a technical function only, and is using the expertise of its members and staff to arrive at "good accounting." The trustees of the IASC Foundation are in the process of conducting a review of the IASC Constitution.
 
Article
The article focuses on a research conducted in order to find out the importance of accounting and auditing systems and institutions in the process of accession of new member states to the European Union. In this research, accounting and auditing institutions are assessed against the benchmarks provided by the acquis. Benchmarking is a multi-layered and apparently complex process and is associated with a range of special projects directed at institutional improvement and change. The research revealed that the practice of benchmarking concerns more than the assessment of the extent and content of domestic regulation and extends to examining administrative and regulatory capacity in the process of accounting and audit.
 
Article
The accounting strategy of the EU Commission for the last ten years, which reached one of its goals with the Regulation on IAS, is challenging all EU Member States. This article gives an analytical insight into the way the German legislator has confronted this challenge. It explains the statutory changes introduced to adapt the accounting regime in Germany, against the background of arguments for reform and proposals which have been put forward in the German accounting literature and by influential interest groups. The major characteristics of the government's accounting strategy are analysed: an increasing focus on the macroeconomic benefits of adequate accounting regulations, a perception of accounting as a material part of the corporate governance regime, greater weight given to the notion of public interest and the information function of accounting, a focus on consolidated accounts for the revision of existing rules, and, at the same time, considerable reluctance to change any recognition and measurement rules for individual entity accounts. In general the accounting reform strategy of the German government can be characterized as being slow, conservative and reactive, following a marginal step-by-step approach.
 
Article
In particular in Germany and Austria, but also in other countries, extensive theoretical and analytical research has been published on the potential tax effects in case IFRS were used as the basis for corporate taxation. Very few quantitative papers exist. This motivated us to conduct a study that quantifies the actual effects of a potential decisiveness of IFRS for the national tax base - without further questioning the usefulness of an IFRS relevance. Our paper extends existing research substantially. The research question of our paper deals with the measurement of differences in discounted tax burden in different scenarios, by simulation. Our sample comprises original data of 61 Austrian companies. The median of the difference between book values of IFRS single accounts and tax accounts for specific balance sheet items is determined. We then apply the result on the items of a typical corporate account derived from an Austrian database. As a result, depending on the term of items, we can calculate the discounted tax effects for different scenarios. It must be underlined that such highly confidential and detailed tax data is usually not available to researchers. The main preliminary finding of our empirical survey is that only in few cases we find essential differences between IFRS and tax accounts. Our evidence suggests that no dramatic change in the tax base has to be expected. Our study provides not only new empirical evidence but also a basis for further research on a possible common consolidated corporate tax base from an academic perspective.
 
Article
Since 2002, the FASB and the IASB have been undertaking a joint project on the revision and convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS revenue recognition. Even though the outcome of the project is still open, the project's course as well as trends in recently published IFRS and other current IASB projects suggest that existing earnings-based and realisation-based IFRS revenue recognition criteria are likely to be replaced by a radically new approach. This paper demonstrates the inconsistencies in current IFRS revenue recognition that have triggered the project and then presents and discusses three conceptually different revenue recognition models that are internationally debated at present. The paper concludes that a major revision of existing IFRS revenue recognition as proposed by the FASB and the IASB is not required. It is argued that the perceived deficiencies should rather be solved on the basis of current transaction-based IFRS revenue recognition criteria.
 
Article
The literature on the links between tax and financial reporting suggests that the strength of those links varies over time and from one jurisdiction to another. The links in Germany were seen to be particularly strong, and those in the UK rather weak. Previous literature was largely set in the context of unconsolidated statements but authors have suggested that their findings were relevant for consolidated reporting. This paper examines the scope for tax influence on IFRS consolidated financial reporting in the two above countries. We find that the overall position for Germany and the UK is now similar, that is, that the potential for tax influence is much weaker in Germany than recorded in previous studies. We also find that, even for unconsolidated reporting under domestic accounting rules, the extreme positions recorded for the two countries in the 1990s have been modified.
 
Article
This paper makes two contributions. First, it demonstrates that income and expenses are incorrectly defined in the Framework, and it proposes alternative definitions. Second, the paper identifies that, in part as a consequence of these incorrect definitions, and in part because there are two, conflicting concepts of profit in IFRS, there is, first, no definition of profit in the Framework and, second, inconsistency and needless complexity in the concept of profit in IAS 1. The issues raised in this paper contribute to the current IASB projects on the conceptual framework and on financial statement presentation.
 
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This paper reviews accounting literature in the English language on proprietary and entity theory in order to understand their implications for financial accounting and reporting. Although there is a lack of agreement on the definition and accounting implications of the various equity theories, the literature indicates clear differences between pure proprietary and pure entity perspectives of the firm. These differences particularly relate to the purpose of accounting and financial reporting, the distinction between debt and equity and its accounting implications for the analysis and recording of transactions and recordable events, and the definition, determination, disclosure and distribution of income. The main contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it explains in operational terms why an entity perspective of the company is theoretically irreconcilable with the asset-liability approach to the determination of income. Second, it makes clear that there is always an implicit perspective to financial reporting. Inconsistency in accounting standards results if the implicit perspective is not the same as the perceived focus of decision-usefulness.
 
Article
This article reviews the present state of the debate in France on the introduction of IFRS. It suggests that history shows that market value was the dominant approach to balance sheet valuation in the nineteenth century, and analyses the ultimate replacement of static theory, using market values, by dynamic theory, which is based on historical cost and the going concern and permits the systematic write-off of assets, and allows more regular payment of dividends. The article suggests that IFRS, based on a mixture of fair value and value in use, assumes a valuation of companies based on their future profitability, hence the description of the approach as forward-looking accounting. oui
 
Article
We provide evidence on the little researched internal sphere of private IASB standard setting, more specifically, on the dynamic of board discussions and the respective impact of exogenous input such as comment letters, the array of arguments evoked in IASB debates, individual board member contribution and board-staff relations. We conduct a content analysis of audio recordings of 14 IASB meetings on the amendment of IAS 19 Employee Benefits (2011) between November 2008 and February 2010. Our main findings comprise the argument-based handling of comment letters not being conditioned by the political or economic importance of the senders, the gatekeeper role of staff members in channelling exogenous input and their equal role in board discussions and the dominant reference to conceptual arguments there. We also point to the heterogeneous involvement of board members, their different attribution to key issues and to further observations regarding the meeting governance, board’s discussion culture and etiquette. Our paper adds to the literature on private IASB standard setting, pension accounting and group decision making. Data: All data are available from the public sources identified in this paper
 
Article
The financial and banking crisis of the late 2000s prompted claims that the incurred-loss method for the recognition of credit losses had caused undesirable delay in the recognition of credit-loss impairment. In the wake of the crisis, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) worked towards the development of expected-loss-based methods of accounting for credit-loss impairment. Their work included an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to develop a converged FASB/IASB standard on credit-loss impairment. The FASB and IASB eventually developed their own separate expected-loss models to be included, respectively, in a 2016 FASB standard and in the IASB’s 2014 final version of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments. The failure to achieve convergence on an issue of such high profile and materiality has generated some controversy, and it is claimed that it will impose significant costs on the preparers and users of the financial statements of banks. This paper examines the various sets of expected-loss-based proposals issued separately or jointly since 2009 by the FASB and the IASB. It describes and compares key features of the different approaches eventually developed by the two standard setters, referring to issues that arose in arriving at practically workable solutions and to issues that may have impeded FASB/IASB convergence. It also provides information indicative of the possible effect of differences between the two approaches.
 
Article
This study investigates the non-financial disclosure in an Italian banking group following Directive 2014/95/EU over a period of eight years, from its voluntary (2013–2017) to mandatory (2018–2020) implementation. The paper relies both on primary and secondary data sources. It first adopts a content analysis on non-financial reports while considering other relevant available material. Second, the study relies upon semi-structured interviews and seminars to gather primary data. The analysis has been interpreted in light of institutional theory in order to understand the institutional forces driving non-financial disclosure. Results show that non-financial disclosure significantly increased in quantity after the regulation; however, the improvement in quality is fairly low, with the exception of themes relevant to the company under investigation. Through the lens of institutional theory, it emerges that an interplay of institutional mechanisms co-existed within the bank, during two periods of reporting for different topics of disclosure.
 
Article
This paper investigates the impact of Directive 2014/95/EU on both the quantity and quality of non-financial disclosure (NFD) and its relationship with corporate financial performance (CFP) in 20 Italian listed companies. The current study considers both the annual reports (AR) and social and environmental reports (SER) released two years prior (2015–2016) and two years after (2017–2018) the Directive’s application. A manual content analysis was conducted and OLS regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the relationship between NFD and CFP, measured by ROA, ROE and Tobin’s Q. The findings show that the Directive affected the quantity of NFD, but not the quality, and that a transfer of information occurred from the different reporting mediums considered. Overall, NFD quality is significant and positively associated with CFP when measured by ROA and ROE, however, the mandatory NFD quality following the Directive does not show a significant relationship with CFP.
 
Article
The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) the paper reviews the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB's) evidence-supported approach to standard setting, in particular the very broad definition of evidence that does not distinguish between scientific evidence used for developing the normative foundation (the standards) and observations in practice. Based on comparisons with medicine and auditing, we argue that there are good reasons for the IASB to separate scientific evidence from other sources of information. As producers of scientific evidence, the academic community must consider whether better alignment between publishing incentives and standard setting can be achieved. (2) Examining the 2015 Agenda Consultation, the ‘top-five’ research projects were identified: ‘Disclosure Initiative – Principles of Disclosure’, ‘Primary Financial Statements’, ‘Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity’, ‘Business Combinations under Common Control’, and ‘Goodwill and Impairment’. In order to further support evidence-informed standard setting, we provide research-based comments on these projects (based on the European Accounting Association's Agenda Consultation comment letter).
 
Article
I provide comments on two papers, Barker and Teixeira ([2018]. Gaps in the IFRS Conceptual Framework. Accounting in Europe, 15) and Van Mourik and Katsuo ([2018]. Profit or loss in the IASB Conceptual Framework. Accounting in Europe, 15), in this issue, which were presented at the EAA-IASB research forum in Brussels. The paper accepts the shortcomings of the updated IASB conceptual framework and argues that these are in large part due to the origins of the document. It points out that the original US project was an attempt to make standard-setting more consistent and involved creating principles which would explain existing standards. Constituents have subsequently resisted attempts to make the framework theoretically sound because they fear this will encourage too much innovation. Standard-setters prefer incremental change, so continue to work with a model created to resolve a problem of the 1970s. I suggest that since standard-setting has been professionalised, the more significant need to is to define what information investors find useful. This may involve providing more granular information about the entity’s business model.
 
Article
The last financial crisis led to a vigorous debate still in place about the pros and cons of fair-value accounting (FVA). While detractors basically argue its potential negative impact on procicality and financial stability or inadequacy in illiquid markets or specific business models, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) pushed to extend FVA in the new financial instruments standard and issued IFRS 13 to clarify its meaning and application. Some empirical research shows the usefulness of fair value accounting information to investors and contradicts its negative impact on stability, while other studies argue about its limitations in the contracting and stewardship role of accounting. The panelists of this symposium will present their views to contribute to the debate, which should be of interest not just to academic researchers, but also to practitioners and standard setters to deal with implementation issues and potential needs to address in the standards.
 
Article
It is a traditional convention in accounting to distinguish between two classes of claims, liabilities and equity. The International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have been using a dichotomous classification approach, adhering to this convention. However, over the recent years, this approach has been put under stress. First, there is an ever-growing variety of hybrid financial instruments, some of which designed to exploit this classification approach (accounting arbitrage). Second, the adoption of IFRS in Europe and elsewhere has brought scenarios to light in which the classification approach does not result in decision-useful information. These issues arise when IFRS are applied by entities in legal forms other than a private or public limited company. This essay discusses IAS 32 in the light of the historic origins of the dichotomous classification approach, the recent standard-setting activities and a review of the empirical research. This essay suggests that a reconsideration of the traditional dichotomous classification might be a way forward.
 
Article
We explore the concept of prudence consistent with Directive 34/2013. There are three strands to our argument: economic, regulatory and legal. From an economic perspective, we demonstrate that neither historical cost nor fair value are designed to achieve long-run operational stability. Regarding regulation, we show that Directive 34 has significantly changed the concept and implications of prudence, in the name of increasing usefulness and relevance. Our legal considerations centre on the Gimle case of 2013, applying its logic to the new regulatory scenario. We note also the concept of the ‘European Public Good’. At various times the EU has suggested four specific components: protection of financial stability, the lack of hindrance to the economic development of the Union, and the objectives of sustainability and long-term investment. To achieve these objectives within the EU we show that it is necessary to follow the logic of our arguments.
 
Article
Following the financial crisis, the view became widespread that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), because it is based on a so-called incurred-loss approach, led to significant overstatements of financial assets by placing tight restrictions on the recognition of loan losses. As a result, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) undertook a project to introduce an alternative expected-loss model in its standards, which would allow earlier recognition of loan losses. This paper is a historical study of the introduction of the incurred-loss model in International Accounting Standard (IAS) 39 between 1998 and 2003. With respect to the topic of loan losses, it argues that, especially at the beginning of that period, it was not yet common to view the issue in terms of a clear-cut dichotomy of incurred-loss versus expected-loss models, and that this had a significant complicating influence on the course of the debate. More generally, the paper illustrates some of the pressures on the quality of the Board's due process during its early years, when it attempted to complete an ambitious agenda in time for the first mass adoption of IFRS in 2005. While this paper takes no position on the correctness of the IASB's decisions as embodied in IAS 39 (2003), it does suggest that the episode covered provides justification for the considerable enhancements of its due process effected by the IASB over recent years.
 
Article
International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9) 9 introduces new impairment rules responding to the G20 critique that International Accounting Standard 39 (IAS 39) results in the delayed and insufficient recognition of credit losses. In a case study of a Greek government bond for the period 2009–2011 when Greece’s credit rating declined sharply, this paper highlights the discretion that preparers have when estimating impairments. IFRS 9 relies more on management expectations and will lead to earlier impairments. However, these appear still delayed and low if compared to the fair value losses.
 
Article
This paper provides an overview of why, and how, academic research can assist regulators and standard setters in evaluating ex ante and ex post the effects of standardization and regulation of corporate financial reporting and disclosure. We argue that academic research is a valuable and often underutilized resource that can help standard setters and policymakers understand the possible effects of accounting standards and regulations. We give an overview of approaches that can, and are, used for this objective and provide selected examples to illustrate how academic research can inform standard setters and regulators.
 
Article
Austria and Germany share similar accounting traditions. International harmonization in both countries has mainly focused on group accounting. In contrast, single financial statements give rise to legal and tax consequences and, thus, are still tied to the traditional principles of orderly accounting. Recent regulatory changes confirmed this dual role of accounting in both countries, while moving local accounting rules closer to IFRS, although to different extents. We illustrate how recent regulations in the two countries made reference to IFRS, how IFRS was considered during the law-making process and outline major differences that remain between domestic and international accounting standards.
 
Article
Romanian accounting rules (RAR) had followed a convergence process with International Accounting Standards/International Financial Reporting Standards (IAS/IFRS) since 1999, and the level of convergence has increased over time. The Romanian accounting regulator continues to follow IAS/IFRS in internalizing the Accounting Directive 2013 Directive 2013/34/EU. Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings, Official Journal of the European Union, L 182/19. /34/EU. Only a few major differences still exist (some of them due the restrictions in the Accounting Directive 2013 Directive 2013/34/EU. Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings, Official Journal of the European Union, L 182/19. /34/EU) between RAR and IFRS. However, RAR lack the level of detail existing in IFRS, and IFRS cannot be used in practice as a source of guidance and interpretation. While major stakeholders have a positive attitude towards the convergence with IAS/IFRS, the Romanian accounting regulator intends to keep the control over RAR and avoid differences in interpretations that might have tax consequences. Despite the good level of convergence of RAR with IFRS, practitioners tend to continue to utilize the tax approach as a source of guidance and interpretation.
 
Article
There is an ongoing debate about the applicability and efficacy of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption in countries with diverse institutional infrastructures. We examine financial reporting in Belarus and factors that are shaping its development. In Belarus, IFRS has been adopted through layering where it is an additional requirement to the existing reporting specified by the national accounting regulations. We explore how global standards were transposed and function in a highly specific institutional context. Based on an examination of reporting in the banking sector, we conclude that different objectives of IFRS and local reporting contribute to dual institutionality of standards where differing formats target the needs of diverse users. Thus, adoption through layering is unlikely to contribute to convergence between different reporting standards used for different purposes, and parallel reporting is expected to persist. By examining financial reporting practices in Belarus, we provide insights for practitioners, regulators, and standard-setters on implementation of IFRS in countries with similar heavy state involvement, and still using local regulations and traditions in parallel with IFRS.
 
Article
The purpose of this study is to critically synthesize extant research on the legitimacy of private accounting standard setters in order to inform future research opportunities. This study presupposes that legitimacy is an important issue for the survival of private accounting standard setters who face legitimacy claims from stakeholders and regulatory competition from other standard-setting bodies due to their lack of a democratic foundation. Findings show that the definition, typology, sources, and legitimacy characteristics that researchers use depend on the theoretical perspectives that they employ in their analysis. Simultaneously, they do have some common points despite the difference in their perspectives. Regarding legitimacy changes, prior studies suggest that moving from practical toward cultural legitimacy, the importance of due process, and the role of crises all affect these changes. The review also identifies future research directions as well as several challenges for legitimacy studies in accounting, namely defining an analytical framework, focus on the dynamic nature of legitimacy and output legitimacy, and the need for more empirical studies, among others.
 
Article
In this paper, the influence of IFRS on Swedish national accounting rules is analyzed. The lawmaker’s and standard setters’ response to EU Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU is studied, as well as the use of IFRS in enforcement. The conclusion is that IFRS have a strong position and legitimacy in Swedish financial reporting.
 
Article
We explain the process and documents that internalise the European Union (EU) Directive No. 2013/34 in Portugal. The Portuguese accounting standard setting body, the Comissão de Normalização Contabilística (CNC), is the entity in charge of the preparation and implementation of accounting standards. As such, CNC was responsible for the implementation of the EU Directive in Portugal. The Directive was approved by Decree-Law No. 98/2015 of 2 June 2015, but many important aspects of the Directive had already been adopted in Portugal when a new accounting system, designated Sistema de Normalização Contabilística (SNC), was introduced in 2009. Decree-Law No. 98/2015 of 2 June 2015 amends the SNC system to incorporate news aspects of the 2013 EU Directive. The current accounting rules in Portugal are strongly aligned with IFRS but some differences exist.
 
Article
We provide an overview of the role and current status of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the development of national accounting rules in Slovenia. The basic requirements of the financial reporting in Slovenia are set in the Companies Act, while the Slovenian accounting standards (SAS) provide a detailed authoritative guidance, especially on measurement. We describe the (historical) relations of all four editions of SAS with IFRS, provide explanations for the close alignment of SAS 2006 and SAS 2016 with IFRS, and identify major differences. In addition, the paper covers the adoption of the new EU accounting Directive into Slovenian legislation.
 
Article
On December 2015, the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) issued a consultation paper entitled ‘Meeting future expectations of professional competence: A consultation on the IAESB’s future strategy and priorities’. Its aim is ‘to obtain public comment on its vision for the next five years and the strategic priorities it believes need to be addressed in serving the public interest’ [International Accounting Education Standards Board [IAESB]. (2015a). Meeting future expectations of professional competence: A consultation on the IAESB’s future strategy and priorities. Consultation paper. Retrieved from https://www.ifac.org/publications-resources/consultation-paper-meeting-future-expectations-professional-competence, p. 3]. This article reports the answers of the European Accounting Association to the questions asked in the consultation paper. The comments suggest a reinforcement of the entry requirements that would include a proper education background, advanced levels of both some technical competences and interpersonal/communication skills as well as a very strong ethical commitment. They also recommend a more thorough development process for the continuous education of accountants, a stronger link between practitioners and academia, insights for new IESs and more effective communication strategies about IAESB activities.
 
Article
This paper brings together the comments made by the European Accounting Association's Financial Reporting Standards Committee to a discussion paper (DP) issued by European Financial Reporting Advisory Group/UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB). It analyses the content of the DP and then discusses what effects should be considered. It considers that all effects should be evaluated, irrespective of whether they normally fall within the standard-setter's purlieu, and provides a taxonomy of effects. It illustrates the difficulty of determining what effects should be considered by the standard-setter. The paper then discusses when effects should be reviewed. It agrees with the DP that effects need to be considered from inception of the project. It disagrees that the standard-setter should necessarily be responsible for all of the effects analysis. It argues that effects are likely to be different by geographical region and industry sector, and recourse should be had to national standard-setters and other organisations. While preparers may make representations about effects during the due process, these are not likely to be a representative sample. The paper suggests that in particular post-implementation reviews are better carried out independently. It observes that the DP does not address the practicalities of carrying out research in this area.
 
Article
We examine the extent to which International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) are used as a reference point and as a basis for the development of accounting standards in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). In particular, the focus is on accounting standards applicable to entities other than those listed on a regulated EU market. The objective is to provide a deeper understanding of the direct and indirect effect of IFRS on accounting standards applicable predominantly to private companies limited by shares in ROI. We illustrate how the historical links between the UK and ROI continue to influence accounting standards applicable in ROI. The enactment of the Companies (Accounting) Bill 2016 into ROI law will maintain the traditional alignment of UK and ROI accounting regulation, whilst simultaneously bringing into force the remaining aspects of the EU Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU, not currently applicable in ROI.
 
Article
The way Spain adapted the legislation to the Accounting Directives as well as a brief analysis of the Spanish standard setting process is followed by a description of the influence of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is the Spanish legislation and the different stakeholders’ position on IFRS. We show and explain why the local General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are clearly inspired by IFRS principles, even for Small- and Medium-Size entities, while at the same time there is no direct application of IFRS and no mention of IFRS as a complementary source of interpretation. We explain the influence of different stakeholders in the standard setting process and highlight the mostly positive attitude towards IFRS principles. We also show the major differences between the IFRS and local GAAP.
 
Article
This paper studies professional education in management accounting and the ways in which management accounting professions establish jurisdictional claims about management accounting work in the UK and German-speaking countries, respectively. We adopt a comparative approach drawing on the framework of systems of professions and the distinction between public, legal and workplace jurisdiction [Abbott, A. (19881. Abbott, A. (1988). The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.View all references). The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press]. Our findings highlight some notable differences between the UK and German-speaking countries with respect to professional management accounting education, the jurisdictional claims that the professions make as well as the establishment and history of professional institutes for management accounting. Based on this analysis, the paper identifies a dilemma or at least a challenge for policy-makers with respect to balancing the need for a context-dependent model of professional education with a need for comparability and convergence.
 
Article
A symposium at the European Accounting Association (EAA) Annual Meetings on Friday 23 May 2014 in Tallinn, organised by Accounting in Europe and the EAA's Financial Reporting Standards Committee (FRSC), brought together leading respondents to the Discussion Paper and the International Accounting Standards Board to debate the issues surrounding the new Conceptual Framework. This paper reproduces the presentations from the panellists: Mario Abela, Leader, Research and Development, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC); Richard Barker, Saïd Business School, Oxford University & EAA FRSC; Rasmus Sommer, Senior Technical Manager, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG); and Alan Teixeira, Senior Director – Technical Activities, International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The panel was chaired by Paul André, ESSEC Business School & Editor Accounting in Europe.
 
Article
Current lease accounting standards classify leases as either operating or finance leases. Operating leases do not require recognition of lease assets or lease liabilities on the balance sheet. Proposed changes to lease accounting would require a lessee to recognise assets and liabilities for most leases over 12 months and may improve the quality and comparability of financial reporting of the entity. In this paper we summarise the literature that can be related, directly or indirectly to the proposed changes by the IASB and the FASB on lease accounting. In summary, the literature highlights that the proposed changes would potentially have economic implications for both preparers and users of accounting reports; including changes to financial ratios, assessment of risk and providing an audit of the accounting reports.
 
Article
Non-profits (NPOs) are one of the key agents in implementing socio-economic policies, financial reporting being relevant for their stakeholders. Different accounting regulations exist in Europe, with no required, common accounting standards to promote these entities’ participation in diverse countries and societies. We analyse the current differences among local accounting regulations related to the elaboration of financial reporting for European NPOs. We accomplish this by considering the primary elements that define an accounting system together with accounting regulations to elaborate on these organisations’ financial statements, and specific operations related to tangible fixed assets, donations and volunteering. Despite there are pressures to promote an isomorphic behaviour in the European context, our results evidence intense differences among European local regulations for NPOs, with origin in diverse cultural and non-profit traditions.
 
Article
This paper reflects on relations between geopolitics and international accounting standard setting in the context of a commonly noted ‘return of geopolitics’. By discussing how selected episodes of the international political setting have impinged on the work of the IASC and the IASB, I attempt to demonstrate that geopolitics is a relevant angle on international accounting standard setting even though many aspects of IFRS can be adequately understood without references to geopolitics. I propose a simple framework to distinguish between symbolical and substantial relations between geopolitics and international accounting standard setting, as well as technical aspects where such a relation is absent. I call for further development of the conceptual toolbox required to analyze the relationship between international accounting standard setting and geopolitics, as well as for more empirical work on the historical and current configurations of this relationship.
 
Article
I examine the effect of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption on the accounting uniformity of financial statements for a sample of large firms listed on Euronext. Using Taplin's (A unified approach to the measurement of international accounting harmony*. Accounting and Business Research, 34(1), 57–73) uniformity index, I find that IFRS enhances uniformity of financial statements of firms within the same country (national uniformity) and between countries (international uniformity). The change in uniformity is not, however, homogeneous within and across jurisdictions that are subject to different accounting regulations before IFRS adoption. Those countries whose local GAAP was further from IFRS prior to adoption experience a greater increase in uniformity after IFRS adoption. I also find that international uniformity is increased most for items where IFRS eliminated divergence with local GAAP and for items where no regulation existed under local GAAP; when IFRS preserved the accounting choice set prescribed under local GAAP, uniformity does not increase. The main contribution relies on showing that the various forms of the relationship local GAAP-IFRS prior to the shift matter when examining the direct effect of IFRS adoption on the convergence of financial reporting practices.
 
Sample description.
Descriptive statistics -variables.
Pairwise correlation matrix.
Determinants of the initial accounting for goodwill.
Robustness tests.
Article
We investigate how different motives shape the initial accounting for goodwill in a setting dominated by controlling owners, using data from 1112 acquisition analyses reported by Swedish listed acquiring firms. In contrast to prior studies, we find no evidence that earnings-based compensation affects the proportion of the purchased price accounted for as goodwill. Instead, we find that when a family-owned firm is the acquirer, a larger proportion of the purchase price is accounted for as goodwill than as specific assets and liabilities. These two findings indicate that controlling owners may curb managerial motives, while controlling family owners apply the discretion of IFRS 3 according to their motives. We also find in this setting that acquisition-related motives have a significant impact on the proportion of the purchased price accounted for as goodwill. Overall, our analyses indicate that the motives shaping goodwill accounting choices depend on the institutional setting.
 
Article
Since the 1990s, UK has been progressively adopting a governmental accounting reform purporting to interpret and mimic accounting standards and practices from the private sector. Since 2009, the UK set of accounting standards applicable to the whole of governmental entities is based upon the HM Treasury's official interpretation of the international accounting standards initially designed for commercial enterprises, the latter standards having extensively inspired the International Public Sector Accounting Standards. This article analyses some representational concerns raised by its application of a balance sheet accounting approach to the public administration, pointing to consolidation perimeter, current value measurement of assets and liabilities and the case of public–private partnerships. This theoretical analysis develops relevant implications for representation and control of public spending and borrowing in UK and in general.
 
Top-cited authors
Axel Haller
  • Universität Regensburg
Peter James Walton
  • Open University Business School
José I. Jarne
  • University of Zaragoza
Susana Callao Gastón
  • University of Zaragoza
Brigitte Eierle
  • Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg