IFRS and Exercise of Accountants Professional Judgments

Insights and Concerns from a German Perspective

Eva Heidhues, Chris Patel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


    In the convergence process with the development and adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as national standards, exercise of accountants' professional judgment has increasingly been recognized as an important and controversial topic. However, most studies have failed to explore and capture the complexity of issues regarding the exercise of professional judgment in IFRS. Moreover, no study has critically examined perceptions that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) fails to take into account concerns about this extensive use of professional judgment in IFRS. As such, the objective of this paper is to provide in-depth insights into issues and concerns regarding the exercise of professional judgment in IFRS from a German perspective. Based on interviews with German accountants and leading accounting academics, this paper explores which factors are likely to influence professional judgment and critically evaluates to what extent factors such as national culture and managerial opportunism can hinder IFRS to achieve the aim of reliability and global comparability. Moreover, this study critically examines the perception of German accounting professionals and leading accounting academics that the IASB often fails to consider critical opinions about IFRS⿿ principles and standards. We provide evidence that Anglo-American dominance and biases in international accounting as well as issues concerning language and self-assertiveness contribute to this perception of indifference in the IASB. As such, this study extends the existing accounting literature and contributes by providing deeper and sharper insights into the controversial topic of professional judgement in the convergence process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIAAER & ANPCONT (3rd) International Accounting Congress
    EditorsAgnes Cheng
    Place of PublicationSao Paulo
    PublisherIAAER - Internation Association for Accounting Education and Research
    Number of pages47
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventIAAER and ANPCONT International Accounting Congress (3rd : 2009) - Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Duration: 10 Jun 200912 Jun 2009


    ConferenceIAAER and ANPCONT International Accounting Congress (3rd : 2009)
    CitySao Paulo, Brazil


    • International accounting
    • IFRS
    • Professional judgement
    • Germany

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