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Publication date: 1 March 2012

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Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence with the increasing adoption of IFRS as national accounting standards have become dominant…

Abstract

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence with the increasing adoption of IFRS as national accounting standards have become dominant topics in international accounting research (Ashbaugh & Pincus, 2001; Chand & Patel, 2008; Christensen et al., 2007; Daske & Gebhardt, 2006; Daske et al., 2008; Ding et al., 2007; Hellmann et al., 2010; Lantto & Sahlström, 2008; Larson & Kenny, 2011; Peng & van der Laan Smith, 2010; Rezaee et al., 2010; Tyrrall et al., 2007). Given that the primary goal of international convergence is enhancing comparability of financial statements across countries, the influence of accountants’ professional judgment in the interpretation and application of accounting standards has increasingly been recognized as an important and controversial topic. Indeed, a growing number of studies have analyzed the influence of culture on standard setting (Bloom & Naciri, 1989; Ding et al., 2005; Schultz & Lopez, 2001), auditor independence (Agacer & Doupnik, 1991; Hwang et al., 2008; Patel & Psaros, 2000), and accountants’ values and judgments (Doupnik & Riccio, 2006; Doupnik & Richter, 2003, 2004; Patel, 2003). Although prior research has provided evidence that culture influences accountants’ exercise of professional judgments, these studies have largely focused on demonstrating differences between accountants from very distinct cultures or accounting systems. For example, Chand (2008) as well as Doupnik and Richter (2004) examined differences in the judgment of professional accountants with regard to the interpretation and application of uncertainty expressions by comparing Australian and Fijian and German and American accountants, respectively. Moreover, recent research on professional accountants’ judgments (Chand, 2008; Doupnik & Riccio, 2006; Doupnik & Richter, 2003) has largely focused on providing evidence that accountants from different accounting clusters significantly differ in their exercise of professional judgment. Indeed, researchers have often based their country selections on theoretical models of accounting clusters such as Gray's (1988) framework of accounting values or Nobes’ (1983) international accounting classification, predominantly to show differences between the Anglo-American accounting model and the Continental European accounting model.

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Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

Over the last decade, the accounting convergence process with the development and adoption of IFRS as national standards has become the focus of governments…

Abstract

Over the last decade, the accounting convergence process with the development and adoption of IFRS as national standards has become the focus of governments, professionals, and researchers. In 2005, the EU (including Germany) and Australia adopted IFRS. A survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (2010) reported that 89 countries have adopted or intend to adopt IFRS for all their domestic listed companies. Currently, more than 100 jurisdictions require or permit the use of IFRS, with countries such as Canada, Brazil, and Argentina being the most recent adopters (IFRS Foundation, 2011b). This growing number of countries implementing IFRS and their experiences and emerging challenges have further raised researchers' interest in this controversial topic (Ashbaugh & Pincus, 2001; Atwood et al., 2011; Byard et al., 2011; Christensen et al., 2007; Daske et al., 2008; Ding et al., 2007; Hail et al., 2010a, 2010b; Kvaal & Nobes, 2010; McAnally et al., 2010; Mechelli, 2009; Niskanen, Kinnunen, & Kasanen, 2000; Stolowy, Haller, & Klockhaus, 2001; Tyrrall et al., 2007). However, these studies have concentrated on the development and application of specific accounting standards and practices and/or cross-national and cross-cultural issues concerning adaptation, implementation, and evaluation of IFRS. Moreover, an increasing number of studies have been devoted to classifications of accounting models and categorization of accounting standards, principles, and values (Chanchani & Willett, 2004; D'Arcy, 2000, 2001; Doupnik & Richter, 2004; Doupnik & Salter, 1993; Gray, 1988; Kamla, Gallhofer, & Haslam, 2006; Nair & Frank, 1980; Patel, 2003, 2007; Perera & Mathews, 1990; Salter & Doupnik, 1992). However, very few studies have critically examined the historical development of accounting practices and issues related to convergence in its socioeconomic context and, importantly, we are not aware of any study that has rigorously examined the institutionalization of Anglo-American accounting practices as international practice with an emphasis on power and legitimacy in the move toward convergence of accounting standards.

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Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

International harmonization of accounting standards and the move toward convergence have revived an increasing interest in the influence of culture in accounting and…

Abstract

International harmonization of accounting standards and the move toward convergence have revived an increasing interest in the influence of culture in accounting and auditing. The growing number of countries adopting IFRS and the increasing acceptance of International Standards on Auditing (ISA) has further raised researchers’ attention. For example, more than 100 countries require or permit the use of IFRS, with more countries, such as Canada, India, and Korea, planning to adopt IFRS by 2011 (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, 2007; IASB, 2007a, 2007b). This move toward convergence is driven largely on assumptions and assertions based on enhancing international comparability of accounting and auditing information.

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Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

The aim of this research monograph was to critically examine accounting development and the convergence process in Germany with a particular focus on examining issues and…

Abstract

The aim of this research monograph was to critically examine accounting development and the convergence process in Germany with a particular focus on examining issues and attitudes concerning the exercise of professional judgments in IFRS that may create constraints in achieving the IASB's objectives. This research monograph had two broad objectives, namely, (a) to enhance our understanding of national accounting developments and the convergence process by showing the importance of taking into account contextual factors, power, and legitimacy and (b) to critically examine issues and perceptions regarding the promotion, interpretation, and application of accounting standards requiring exercise of professional judgment. Based on an evaluation of Gray's framework of accounting values, the first chapter addressed the first objective by providing evidence that reliance on simplistic categorizations neglects the distinctiveness of national accounting models and the factors that shape these models. The second chapter examined convergence in Germany from a neo-institutional perspective and reinforced the importance of taking into account contextual factors and specifically legitimacy and power structures to enhance our understanding of the ongoing convergence process. The last two chapters of this research monograph addressed the second objective by exploring general perceptions toward the exercise of professional judgment and by investigating cross-cultural differences in accountants’ judgments. Specifically, the third chapter provided insights into the determinants of attitudes and concerns regarding the promotion of professional judgment by the IASB, while the fourth and the final chapters of the research monograph provided evidence of differences in accountants’ materiality judgments in Germany and Italy.

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence and the increasing adoption of IFRS as national standards have become dominant topics in…

Abstract

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence and the increasing adoption of IFRS as national standards have become dominant topics in international accounting research (Alp & Ustundag, 2009; Ashbaugh & Pincus, 2001; Cairns, Massoudi, Taplin, & Tarca, 2011; Christensen et al., 2007; Daske, 2006; Daske & Gebhardt, 2006; Daske et al., 2008; Ding et al., 2007; Gastón, García, Jarne, & Laínez Gadea, 2010; Haverals, 2007; Hellmann, Perera, & Patel, 2010; Lantto & Sahlström, 2008; Othman & Zeghal, 2006; Peng & van der Laan Smith, 2010; Schleicher, Tahoun, & Walker, 2010; Tyrrall et al., 2007). In this move toward convergence, the politics associated with IAS setting by the IASB has become an important and controversial topic in international accounting research. Although previous studies have aimed to examine political issues and stakeholder's perception toward the standard-setting process of the IASB (Alali & Cao, 2010; Chiapello & Medjad, 2009; de Lange & Howieson, 2006), no study has critically examined the complexity of factors influencing attitudes and public opinion toward this standard-setting process. Given that attitudes are likely to guide behavior and lead stakeholders to either advance the work of the IASB or create obstacles, it is timely and relevant to analyze attitudes toward this issue. A recent study has provided evidence that stakeholders’ acceptance of IFRS and preparers’ overall perception of IFRS may influence compliance and the quality of financial reports (Navarro-García & Bastida, 2010). As such, it is the objective of this chapter to provide insights into determinants of attitudes toward the IASB's standard setting and critically examine the influence of power structures and perceived legitimacy on individual attitudes and public opinion.1 Specifically, this study examines German attitudes toward the promotion of professional judgment by the IASB since the adoption of IFRS in the EU in 2005.

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

This research monograph critically examines convergence with the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Germany by taking into account the…

Abstract

This research monograph critically examines convergence with the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Germany by taking into account the influence of political, legal, economic, social, cultural, and historical factors on accounting principles and practices. This study makes a contribution by examining issues in the convergence process that may create constraints in achieving global comparability and, importantly, may challenge the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB) main objective: “to develop, in the public interest, a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted financial reporting standards based on clearly articulated principles” (IFRS Foundation, 2011a, Preface to IFRS).1 Specifically, this research monograph examines convergence in Germany by analyzing the development of German accounting and examining issues and attitudes concerning the application of professional judgment, which has increasingly been recognized as an important and controversial topic in international accounting (Barth, Landsman, & Rendleman, 2000; Chand & White, 2006; Dechow, Myers, & Shakespeare, 2010; Patel, 2006; Theile, 2003).

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Abstract

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Abstract

Details

Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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