The issue about the degree of subjectivity incidental to financial statements is topical, although it has long beenstudied and debated. Indeed, such issue recurs any time new accounting rules or standards are issued. And, of course, it recurs in case of a complete renovation of the accounting system of reference, such as the one that took place in Europe in 2005, when all listed companies were required to repeal their national accounting rules and GAAP, and to adopt IFRS for the preparation of their consolidated financial statements. This study focuses on such transition with specific reference to the Italian context and explores three interconnected issues: a) identification of the changes in the evaluation criteria – from the Italian regulations and GAAP to IFRS – which actually impact on the financial statements presented by Italian companies in the year of transition; b) appreciation of the importance of such impacts, based on (1) how often each adjustment recurs; (2) whether they determine an increase or decrease in accounting figures and (3) how relevant their effects are on the main accounting figures, namely net earnings and net capital; c) discussion about the managerial discretion introduced by the most impacting evaluation criteria identified, in comparison with the Italian provisions and GAAP previously applied. The overall analysis demonstrates that IFRS introduction determined wide impacts on financial statements, affecting most assets and liabilities, but its impacts on accounting figures were less significant than could be expected. In terms of subjectivity, however, differences are very significant.

IFRS Adoption in Italy: Which Effects on Accounting Figures and Subjectivity?

CORBELLA, Silvano;FLORIO, Cristina;ROSSIGNOLI, Francesca
2013

Abstract

The issue about the degree of subjectivity incidental to financial statements is topical, although it has long beenstudied and debated. Indeed, such issue recurs any time new accounting rules or standards are issued. And, of course, it recurs in case of a complete renovation of the accounting system of reference, such as the one that took place in Europe in 2005, when all listed companies were required to repeal their national accounting rules and GAAP, and to adopt IFRS for the preparation of their consolidated financial statements. This study focuses on such transition with specific reference to the Italian context and explores three interconnected issues: a) identification of the changes in the evaluation criteria – from the Italian regulations and GAAP to IFRS – which actually impact on the financial statements presented by Italian companies in the year of transition; b) appreciation of the importance of such impacts, based on (1) how often each adjustment recurs; (2) whether they determine an increase or decrease in accounting figures and (3) how relevant their effects are on the main accounting figures, namely net earnings and net capital; c) discussion about the managerial discretion introduced by the most impacting evaluation criteria identified, in comparison with the Italian provisions and GAAP previously applied. The overall analysis demonstrates that IFRS introduction determined wide impacts on financial statements, affecting most assets and liabilities, but its impacts on accounting figures were less significant than could be expected. In terms of subjectivity, however, differences are very significant.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/649362
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