Who Really Benefits from Mandatory Adoption of IFRS? A Closer Look at Preparers and Users of Financial Information

Michel Sayumwe, Claude Francoeur

Abstract


 

Since 1 January 2005, the European Union (EU) has mandated implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for preparation of consolidated financial statements for EU-listed firms. This paper analyzes the economic impact of mandatory adoption of IFRS on firms, investors, and creditors. Relying on the positive accounting theory, we study the economic impact of the new conceptual framework of financial information from IASB (2010), especially in paragraph OB2, where investors and creditors are designated as the main users of financial information, and QC 38, which assesses whether the benefits of financial information justify the costs associated with its production and use. Our sample is composed of 2,926 European firms that adopted IFRS in 2005. Results show that firm’s cost of capital declines when comparing data before and after IFRS adoption. For creditors, our results suggest that credit rating improves after IFRS adoption. However, we do not notice any significant difference in the quality of accounting earnings for investors.

We also test if these results hold in the presence of asymmetric information, financial dependence and family ownership structure. Our results confirm the above trend. We conclude that the market anticipates the content of accounting data, and that mandatory adoption of IFRS has no impact on investors.

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/rae.v9i1.10900

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