Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Ghana and the Quality of Financial Statement Disclosures

Ben Kwame Agyei-Mensah

Abstract


According to the IASB's IFRS framework, qualitative characteristics are the attributes that make the information provided in financial statements useful to others. This study was conducted to investigate the quality of financial reports before and after adopting IFRSs in Ghana, and also the influence of firm-specific characteristics which include firm size, profitability, debt equity ratio, liquidity and audit firm size on the quality of financial information disclosed by firms listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

The research was conducted through detailed analysis of the pre-official adoption period, (2006) and post adoption period, (2008) financial statements of the listed firms.  Descriptive analysis was performed to provide the background statistics of the variables examined.  This was followed by regression analysis which forms the main data analysis.  The results of the quality of financial information disclosure mean of 76.80% (pre adoption) and 87.09% (post adoption) for the two years indicate that the quality of financial reports has improved significantly after adopting IFRSs. The study thus confirms that the implementation of IFRSs generally reinforce accounting disclosure quality.  It also indicates listed firms' overwhelming compliance with the IASB's IFRS Framework.

The results of the multiple regression analysis show that company size, represented by net assets and Auditor type were found to be associated at a statistically significant level with the quality of financial information disclosed.  With the improvement in the quality of the financial reports after adopting IFRS users are assured of useful information for financial decision-making.

Keywords: Quality of financial reports' disclosure, Firm-specific characteristics, International Financial Reporting Standards, Mandatory disclosure, Ghana.

 JEL Classifications: M40, M41, M48


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijafr.v3i2.4489

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