Acceptance and observance of international accounting standards: An empirical study of companies claiming to comply with IASs


This article reports on an empirical study of the accounting policies and disclosures of a sample of major companies from around the world claiming to comply with IASs in 1996. Specifically, the research addresses the extent of compliance with the IASs revised during the Comparability Project. The findings reveal significant noncompliance with IASs including: use of LCM for inventories; violation of the all-inclusive requirement for reporting profit/loss and of the strict definition of extraordinary items; failure to capitalize certain development costs; failure to provide all required disclosures for property, plant, and equipment, particularly those associated with revaluations; failure to comply with pension disclosure requirements; for companies operating in hyperinflationary economies, failure to restate foreign entities in accordance with IAS 29; and charging goodwill to reserves or amortizing goodwill over a period in excess of the 20 year limit. Noncompliance, as evidenced by the current research, is very problematic for the IASCas it strives to achieve an IOSCO endorsement and as IAS 1 Revised becomes effective for 1999 financial statements.

Document Type



Comparability project, Compliance with IASs, IASC, International accounting standards

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Journal of Accounting