Following the recent EU Regulation introducing the mandatory adoption of IFRS in Europe, this study examines accounting quality in Italy from 2002 to 2007. An empirical analysis is carried out by using consolidated financial statement data and stock prices information from a sample of 552 firm-year observations concerning a cohort of 92 Italian non-financial companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. Accounting quality is investigated by focusing on three dimensions, namely: a) earnings management, expressed as both earnings smoothing and managing earnings towards a target; b) timely loss recognition; c) value relevance. Each dimension is evaluated by using appropriate metrics introduced in previous literature. Relevant changes in the measurements deriving from these metrics, evaluated by contrasting results obtained for firms operating in the pre-adoption period (i.e., from 2002 to 2004) with those of firms operating in the post-adoption one (i.e., from 2005 to 2007), are interpreted as changes of accounting quality in Italy. Research findings are mixed. They may be particularly useful for investors, regulators and the institutions involved in the accounting harmonization process, since they provide early evidence of the impact of the IFRS mandatory adoption at country level.

Earnings management, timely loss recognition and value relevance in Europe following the IFRS mandatory adoption: evidence from Italian listed companies

PAGLIETTI, Paola
2009

Abstract

Following the recent EU Regulation introducing the mandatory adoption of IFRS in Europe, this study examines accounting quality in Italy from 2002 to 2007. An empirical analysis is carried out by using consolidated financial statement data and stock prices information from a sample of 552 firm-year observations concerning a cohort of 92 Italian non-financial companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. Accounting quality is investigated by focusing on three dimensions, namely: a) earnings management, expressed as both earnings smoothing and managing earnings towards a target; b) timely loss recognition; c) value relevance. Each dimension is evaluated by using appropriate metrics introduced in previous literature. Relevant changes in the measurements deriving from these metrics, evaluated by contrasting results obtained for firms operating in the pre-adoption period (i.e., from 2002 to 2004) with those of firms operating in the post-adoption one (i.e., from 2005 to 2007), are interpreted as changes of accounting quality in Italy. Research findings are mixed. They may be particularly useful for investors, regulators and the institutions involved in the accounting harmonization process, since they provide early evidence of the impact of the IFRS mandatory adoption at country level.
IFRS; Accounting quality; Financial reporting; International accounting; Regulation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/525550
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