International accounting standards and accounting quality in code-law countries: The case of Egypt
Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
Article publication date: 8 February 2016
This study aims to examine whether the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) leads to accounting quality improvements in Egypt as a code-law country. In particular, the study examines earnings management, the construct often used to assess accounting quality.
The study compares earnings management practice for Egyptian listed companies before (2000-2006) and after (2007-2009) the adoption of IFRS.
The findings of the study reveal that accounting quality, as measured by earnings management, has decreased in post-adoption period compared to pre-adoption period. IFRS are set up to provide high-quality financial reporting. However, this cannot be achieved solely by a regulatory requirement to follow. The accounting system is a complementary component of the country’s overall institutional system. Institutional improvements did not simultaneously take place by the Egyptian government around the adoption of IFRS. The Egyptian government did not introduce a more effective enforcement system, mandatory corporate governance regulations, investor protection mechanisms and sufficient institutional knowledge of IFRS during that period. Thus, even if IFRS are higher quality standards, the institutional features of Egyptian market could eliminate any improvement in accounting quality arising from adopting IFRS.
The results of the study are consistent with prior research suggesting that the adoption of IFRS, which are generally perceived to be of higher quality than domestic standards, does not necessarily lead to higher accounting quality in code-law countries like Egypt. The overall results indicate that incentives dominate accounting standards in determining accounting quality in Egypt.
The main reason why countries adopt IFRS invariably is to improve accounting quality. It is, therefore, of interest to ascertain if this goal has been met, especially, in code-law countries such as Egypt.
Ebaid, I.E.-S. (2016), "International accounting standards and accounting quality in code-law countries: The case of Egypt", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 41-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRC-12-2011-0047
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