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The impact of IFRS on accounting quality in a regulated market : an empirical study of China
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Liu, Lee Yao, N Hu, L Liu
As more countries consider the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that are based on practices prevalent in the English-speaking countries with free markets, it’s increasingly important to understand the impact of IFRS on countries of different institutional, economic, and political environments. This article reports a study that examines the impact of IFRS on accounting quality in a regulated market, China, where new substantially IFRS-convergent accounting standards became mandatory for listed firms in 2007. Accounting quality is examined for the period 2005 to 2008 with only firms mandated to follow the new standards. The empirical results generally indicate that accounting quality improved with decreased earnings management and increased value relevance of accounting measures in China since 2007. Firms audited by the Big Four are expected to have higher quality before the standard change evidenced quality improvement to a smaller extent. Further analysis shows that such changes are less likely to result from changes in economic conditions but from the changes of the standards. Through the analysis of China’s adoption of the new substantially IFRS-convergent standards, the study provides direct evidence on the question of whether IFRS can be relevant to markets that are still disciplined mainly by regulators rather than by market mechanisms.