Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8570
Location: Mile End, Bancroft Building, Room 4.25H
1st Supervisor: Professor Colin Haslam
2nd Supervisor: Dr Stella Ladi
"Accounting for IFRS: A Political Economy Perspective"
Although the European Union is political and economic force internationally, in the financial services and capital market world the balance is more inclined to the U.S.. With regards to the setting of accounting standards, independent institutes like International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) were delegated, and entrusted, with setting independent standards. This thesis will focus on the nature of the political and business interests that drive the dynamics of IFRS standard setting.
IFRS's setting can be understood from a progressive, socially constructed perspective, and in this respect there is both continuity and change. IFRS's setting has traditionally been focused on the interests of ‘investors’ as the key stakeholders and their need for information about a reporting entity's financial condition and viability. The information disclosed by reporting entities is concerned with maintaining capital and market efficiency so that capital funds are allocated on the basis of risk assessments arising out of information disclosed by a reporting entity.
The recent financial crisis (as with previous crises) has called into question the relevance of accounting disclosures. In recent years the conceptual framework governing IFRS's setting has been challenged to prioritise also the ‘public interest’ and ‘financial stability’.
This thesis will consider the historic and contemporary struggle between narrow/broad financial reporting and its objective in terms of informing capital market efficiency or stability. It will also look at to what extent can a political economy perspective shed light on the current challenges to reform accounting standards that are not only socially constructed but impact upon society in general.