“International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Did They Succeed to Decrease Falsified Financial Statements and Improve Auditors’ Quality? Financial Evidence from Australia, Germany, Greece and the UK”
Keywords:IFRS, old GAAP, Earnings Management, Falsified Statements, Auditors, Fraud Auditing
This project relates to the creative accounting practices that seem to exist even after the official adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2005. IFRS is a set of unique, high-quality standards that aim to increase the transparency and comparability of information in firms’ financial statements. However, there are indications that, under certain circumstances, firms have used earnings management to gain competitive advantage. Earnings management, or the deliberate misstatement of earnings figures, is a form of fraud. It is an important issue because firms that use such techniques disorientate investors and market participants, and increase market imbalances. Many studies have focused on the connection between earnings management and IFRS, provoking three core questions. Would it have been better for countries to apply their own national GAAP? Do earnings management decrease after IFRS? What are the motives behind earnings management? Extending these questions, the study aims to analyse if falsified statements have been declined after IFRS, to examine the extent that individual standards impact on earnings management, and to specify the role of auditors against earnings management. It involves quantitative analysis of secondary numerical data, for the years 2004-2009 focusing on the Australian, German, Greek, and UK stock markets. The findings reveal that IFRS has not succeeded in eliminating falsified statements entirely, but it proves that IFRS managed to improve the quality of smaller auditors. Overall, this study contributes to theory by exploring additional tools and motives for earnings management. It is thus of interest to both academics and market professionals.
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