Auditors’ perceptions of the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in a developing country

Mohammad Nurunnabi (Accounting Department, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2042-1168

Publication date: 6 February 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been adopted by 140 countries around the globe, including the G20 countries. Most of the prior literature focuses on adoption issues in developed countries. Due to the paucity of research on implementation issues in developing countries, the purpose of this paper is to explore the impediments of IFRS implementation in a developing country from 1998 to 2014 based on the auditors’ perceptions and documentary analyses.

Design/methodology/approach

Three rounds of interviews (2010, 2012, and 2014) from a total of 75 auditors (including 12 internal auditors and 13 external auditors) were conducted and enforcement documents from 1998 to 2010 were evaluated. The purpose of the three rounds of interviews was to explore the reflection on the changes which the interviewees have experienced over a five-year period.

Findings

Using institutional isomorphism, the results suggest that policy makers should focus on several factors to implement IFRS effectively, including low audit fees, a lack of qualified accountants, a lack of interest in IFRS by managers of some companies, a culture of secrecy, and a family-based private sector. Surprisingly, chartered accountancy firms are able to continue their work because of a culture of non-punishment for violating rules and the absence of any reliable exercising of due care or professional ethics in Bangladesh. Regulators such as the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh are not inclined to enforce actions against corrupt chartered accountant firms. This raises question about the professional integrity of auditors as well as regulators. Unlike, Albu et al. (2011) (World Bank as coercive) and Hassan et al. (2014) (western influence as coercive), the findings of this study imply that coercive isomorphism (regulatory authorities in Bangladesh) should be more proactive to ensure a successful implementation of IFRS.

Research limitations/implications

This study has some limitations, including transcribing information from Bengali to English and some enforcement documents were not available on the BSEC website. This last limitation is mitigated by the fact that a substantial number of enforcement releases (1,647 enforcement notices for a 13-year period) are analysed and three rounds of interviews were conducted.

Originality/value

The findings of this study contribute to, and advance the incremental knowledge of IFRS implementation issues and auditing literature in a developing country’s experience to policy makers (e.g. World Bank, IMF, Basel Committee, G20, IOSCO, and IFAC). The findings may be generalised to other developing countries that are facing effective implementation of IFRS.

Keywords

Citation

Nurunnabi, M. (2017), "Auditors’ perceptions of the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in a developing country", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 108-133. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAEE-02-2015-0009

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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