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Impact of XBRL adoption on financial reporting quality: a global evidence

Vincent Tawiah (Department of Accounting, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Hela Borgi (Department of Accounting, College of Business and Administration, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 15 August 2022

Issue publication date: 29 November 2022




This paper aims to examine the effect of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) adoption on financial reporting quality at the country-level (developing and developed countries).


This study uses data from 98 developed and developing countries between 2005 and 2018. This study collected data from various sources such as the World Economic Forum, World Development Indicators, World Governance Indicators and XBRL website.


The results show that XBRL is associated with an increased financial reporting quality. However, the relationship is stronger in developing countries than in developed countries. This study also finds that the results remain the same after accounting for years of XBRL experience and the effect of accounting globalisation. The results are consistent with the assumption that XBRL-formatted financial statements improve information efficiency through increased searching efficiency, quality of display and comparability. The results are robust to alternative econometric modifications such as controlling for country, year effects and endogeneity.

Practical implications

The results can potentially assist the XBRL promoters and regulators in expeditiously assessing the benefits of XBRL and advocating its adoption by many countries. The findings offer more motivations for regulators around the world to mandate this new filing standard format.


This study contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence on the consequences of XBRL at the country level. This study provides evidence on an important question of whether the XBRL, new information technology in the accounting field, can play a useful role in improving financial reporting.



The authors acknowledge that the coding of countries can be challenging, as there is no uniform adoption approach. Some countries may require some specific industry, such as banking, while others require all listed firms to report in XBRL format. However, consistent with prior studies, we use a holistic approach by coding all countries that have mandated XBRL for any specific industry or class of firms as adopted.


Tawiah, V. and Borgi, H. (2022), "Impact of XBRL adoption on financial reporting quality: a global evidence", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 815-833.



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