An investigation of compliance with international accounting standards by listed companies in the Gulf Co-Operation Council member states
This study investigates the extent of compliance with international accounting standards (IASs) by companies in the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) member states (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Based on a sample of 137 companies (436 company-years) we find that compliance increased over time, from 68% in 1996 to 82% in 2002. Despite strong economic and cultural ties between the GCC states, there was significant between-country variation in compliance and among companies based on size, leverage, internationality, and industry. The study provides evidence of de jure but not de facto harmonization in the region. Noncompliance reflected some ineffectiveness in the functions of external auditors and enforcement bodies, which may be of interest to countries that have adopted IASs recently.
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