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The Role of Firm-Specific Incentives and Country Factors in Explaining Voluntary IAS Adoptions: Evidence from Private Firms


  • Jere Francis
  • Inder Khurana
  • Xiumin Martin
  • Raynolde Pereira


This paper investigates voluntary adoptions of International Accounting Standards (IAS) by private enterprises, and builds on prior research which posits that higher quality financial reports through IAS adoption can reduce information asymmetry and facilitate contracting with external parties. Specifically, we pursue the following questions. First, do firm-specific incentives matter in the IAS adoption decision after controlling for country-level institutional factors? Second, does the relative importance of firm vs. country factors vary across institutional settings? Using a sample of 3,722 small and medium-sized private enterprises from 56 countries, we report two primary findings. First, both firm and country factors matter in the voluntary IAS adoption decision. Second, when we focus on sub-samples of countries partitioned by the level of economic development, we find that firm factors dominate country factors in more developed countries, while in less developed countries, country factors dominate firm factors in explaining IAS adoptions. This result is consistent with the argument in Doidge et al. (Journal of Financial Economics, 86(1), pp. 1-39, 2007) that firm incentives are more important in explaining governance choices (including accounting) in more developed countries where the benefits from better governance are more likely to exceed the attendant costs. Collectively, our results suggest that less developed countries can enhance the benefits from IAS adoptions by developing institutions which facilitate private contracting.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere Francis & Inder Khurana & Xiumin Martin & Raynolde Pereira, 2008. "The Role of Firm-Specific Incentives and Country Factors in Explaining Voluntary IAS Adoptions: Evidence from Private Firms," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 331-360.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:331-360
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180701819899

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Batra, Geeta & Stone, Andrew H. W., 2003. "The Firms Speak: What the World Business Environment Survey Tells Us about Constraints on Private Sector Development," MPRA Paper 8213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ding, Yuan & Hope, Ole-Kristian & Jeanjean, Thomas & Stolowy, Herve, 2007. "Differences between domestic accounting standards and IAS: Measurement, determinants and implications," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-38.
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    Cited by:

    1. Isidro, Helena & Raonic, Ivana, 2012. "Firm incentives, institutional complexity and the quality of “harmonized” accounting numbers," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 407-436.
    2. Gaetano Matonti & Giuseppe Iuliano, 2012. "Voluntary Adoption of Ifrs by Italian Private Firms: A Study Of The Determinants," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 2(2), pages 43-70, December.
    3. Windsor, Duane, 2009. "Tightening corporate governance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 306-316, September.
    4. Guerreiro, Marta Silva & Rodrigues, Lúcia Lima & Craig, Russell, 2012. "Voluntary adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards by large unlisted companies in Portugal – Institutional logics and strategic responses," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 482-499.
    5. repec:eee:spacre:v:18:y:2015:i:2:p:217-224 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Riccardo, Macchioni & Giuseppe, Sannino & Gianluca, Ginesti & Carlo, Drago, 2013. "Firms’ disclosure compliance with IASB’s Management Commentary framework:an empirical investigation," MPRA Paper 59321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Marco Fasan & Carlo Marcon, 2014. "Accounting Tradition and other drivers of the Fair Value choice: An Opportunistic Management perspective," Working Papers 13, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    8. David Procházka, 2016. "Forced Adoption of IFRS by Czech Non-Listed Companies: An Assessment of Benefits and Costs," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(2), pages 46-62.
    9. repec:kap:jbuset:v:144:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2862-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Juan Carlos Navarro-García & Antonia Madrid-Guijarro, 2014. "The Influence of Improvements in Accounting Standards on Earnings Management: The Case of IFRS," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 24(2), pages 154-170, June.
    11. repec:eee:jiaata:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:169-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:jiaata:v:26:y:2016:i:c:p:28-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:jiaata:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:110-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:bracre:v:50:y:2018:i:3:p:239-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Senteney, David L. & Bazaz, Mohammad S. & Senteney, Michael H., 2016. "Cross-market information transfers of ADR firms: An investigation of emerging market economies," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 655-677.
    16. Paul André & Peter Walton & Dan Yang, 2012. "Voluntary adoption of IFRS: A study of determinants for UK unlisted firms," Post-Print hal-00935013, HAL.

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