AbstractThis thesis studies the way the profession, key actors and other users perceive the use of IFRSs in Greece. The focus is mainly on providing evidence of perceptions towards the transition and implementation process, the way financial statements are used, what challenges are encountered and the recognised benefits after the adoption of IFRSs. The thesis explores the views of actual users about the usefulness of financial reports relating to the impact of IFRSs in an economy with different institutional infrastructures and accounting tradition from the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ model. It provides a critical perspective on the understanding of actors’ experience and interpretation of accounting change and challenges unquestioned beliefs and taken-for-granted assumptions surrounding the adoption of IFRSs. Drawing on a historical and political economy analysis of (inter)national accounting standard-setting and practices the driving rationale behind actors’ views is investigated. Gramsci’s conceptual vocabulary is utilised in order to encourage a theoretical insight into the empirical material.
Empirical evidence has been gathered through interviews with key individuals in the implementation and establishment of IFRSs and secondary data, such as public statements, policies and the IASB’s exposure drafts and comments. The impact of IFRSs is evident in areas of measurement and disclosure while the user groups that make meaningful use of IFRSs’ financial information is narrow. The identified benefits of IFRSs in terms of the usefulness of financial information feature great similarity and consensus among local key actors. However, there are still challenges in the implementation and interpretation of IFRSs hindering the accomplishment of the IASB’s pronouncements in regard to the benefits of the standards. IFRSs convergence seems to improve over time. The state exerts significant influence over accounting practices and taxation considerations are generally considered as inhibiting compliance with IFRSs. It appears that there is a shift in the perceptions and beliefs of key individuals about the role of financial reporting in line with the neo-liberal shift in the rationale of IFRSs as promoted by standard-setters and dominant capital economies. The thesis challenges the position purported by standard setters that the adoption of IFRSs is a necessity driven by the natural forces of economic globalisation and that it results in improved decision usefulness of financial statements. There is more to financial reporting quality and comparability than imposing a common set of standards. Despite the inconsistencies in the application of IFRSs and the contradictions in actors’ views about the actual benefits of IFRSs, this has not led them to challenge the basic assumptions and hegemonic structures inherent in the domain of accounting and capital markets.
|Date of Award||Nov 2013|
|Supervisor||Lisa Jack (Supervisor) & Tony Hines (Supervisor)|