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International financial reporting standards for small and medium-sized entities: A new institutional sociology perspective

Purpose: This paper aims to extend the literature by examining the need for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for Sri Lankan small and medium entities (SMEs) and investigating the institutional pressures that drove the adoption of the IFRS for SMEs in a developing country, Sri Lanka. Design/methodology/approach: The theoretical framework adopted in this study draws on insights from new institutional sociology theory. An interview-based qualitative research was conducted with accountants and owners of SMEs, representatives from government agencies and the accounting standards-setting authority of Sri Lanka. Findings: The emphasis on the need for international accounting standards for SMEs due to international structures and activities is not a priority for Sri Lankan SMEs. Sri Lankan SME owners do not receive requests to provide internationally comparable financial statements from their trade partners and international activities such as foreign exports, borrowings and ownerships are irrelevant business activities for them. Hence, findings reveal that the decision to adopt the IFRS for SMEs was in response to institutional pressures rather than alleged benefits of internationally comparable financial information. It appears from the results that the influence of local users’ needs and the government interference on the development of accounting standards does not exist in Sri Lanka. Research limitations/implications: The research is limited to a single country. The data were collected from SMEs in Sri Lanka, as intended by the research boundary.[AQ1] The study has implications for policy makers, and standard setters charged with developing and implementing an appropriate financial reporting framework for SMEs. Originality/value: The extant literature on IFRS for SMEs is sparse and mostly conducted through questionnaire surveys with a single user group of SME financial information.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Emerald Publishing Limited
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in Meditari Accountancy Research. © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited.