Devi, S.S. & Samujh, H. (2014). The political economy of convergence: The case of IFRS for SMEs. Accepted for publication in Australian Accounting Review.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9091
This paper examines the processes used by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), in achieving widespread convergence to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by developing economies. Global convergence of financial reporting standards is a politically motivated agenda. The movement towards standardisation of financial reporting has been described in various ways including, adoption, application, transitioning, implementation (Brown and Tarca 2012), harmonization (Strouhal 2012) and convergence (Stevenson 2012; Street 2012; Pawsey, Brown and Chatterjee 2013). In this paper the term convergence encapsulates the efforts by developing countries to revise their national standards to be the same as IFRSs. The IFRS for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (IFRS for SMEs) was partly to facilitate developing economies’ commitment to convergence (UNCTAD 2009). Introducing a two-tier system implied by a special IFRS for SMEs is the first synthesis of the international convergence process (Rodrigues and Craig 2007). Given that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly important in the global economy, it is equally important that there is a clear set of principles underpinning financial reporting for these entities. However, there is limited discussion on the development of the IFRS for SMEs in the academic literature. Only very recently have academics from developing countries engaged in discussions on IFRS for SME adoption (Phang and Mahzan 2013). Therefore, this paper provides an understanding of the activities that led to the promulgation of the standard and the efforts of the World Bank, the United Nations and other international organisations to bring this issue onto IASB’s agenda since early 2000. This paper is timely as the IASB has commenced its comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs (IASB 2012).
This is an author’s pre-print of an article accepted for publication in the journal: Australian Accounting Review.
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