I examine the effect of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption on the accounting uniformity of financial statements for a sample of large firms listed on Euronext. Using Taplin’s (A unified approach to the measurement of international accounting harmony*. Accounting and Business Research, 34(1), 57–73) uniformity index, I find that IFRS enhances uniformity of financial statements of firms within the same country (national uniformity) and between countries (international uniformity). The change in uniformity is not, however, homogeneous within and across jurisdictions that are subject to different accounting regulations before IFRS adoption. Those countries whose local GAAP was further from IFRS prior to adoption experience a greater increase in uniformity after IFRS adoption. I also find that international uniformity is increased most for items where IFRS eliminated divergence with local GAAP and for items where no regulation existed under local GAAP; when IFRS preserved the accounting choice set prescribed under local GAAP, uniformity does not increase. The main contribution relies on showing that the various forms of the relationship local GAAP-IFRS prior to the shift matter when examining the direct effect of IFRS adoption on the convergence of financial reporting practices.
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- Accounting uniformity
- Local GAAP