Mandatory environmental disclosures by companies complying with IAS/IFRS: The case of France, Germany and the UK
AbstractThis study investigates whether the adoption of a single set of accounting standards, such as IFRS, guarantees harmonization of accounting practices within a country and across countries, or whether differences in reporting practices persist because of dissimilarities in reporting habits and institutional settings. To this end, we investigate whether the level of environmental disclosure under IFRS is related to the size of the reporting firm, which has been shown to be a major determinant of voluntary environmental information, and the strength of legal and regulatory constraints on environmental disclosures in the country where the firm is domiciled. Results indicate that environmental disclosures imposed by IFRS increase with firm size, just like voluntary environmental disclosures. This suggests that application of IFRS is affected by the reporting practices that prevailed prior to IFRS adoption. Results also indicate that firms domiciled in countries with constraining environmental disclosure regulations (i.e. France and the UK) report more on environmental issues than do firms domiciled in countries with weakly constraining regulations (i.e. Germany). This suggests that national regulations strongly impact IFRS reporting. Taken as a whole, our results support the view that IFRS are not applied consistently across firms or across countries, notably because of persistence of reporting traditions and discrepancies in national legal requirements.
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Date of creation: 09 Jan 2012
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environmental disclosure; environmental accounting; environmental regulation; IAS/IFRS;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2012-01-25 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2012-01-25 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-REG-2012-01-25 (Regulation)
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